Rafa Benitez has already shown his ruthless side at Newcastle, with players both young and old allowed to leave the club.

However, bucking the trend of young players not making it at St James Park, the United boss looks to have seen something in Jamie Sterry.

Rafa Benitez gave the Newcastle defender a four year contract which ties the player to the club until 2020.

Set to turn 22 in November, the player is aiming for the first team this coming season.

Jamie Sterry made his Premier League debut against Tottenham in that May 2016 5-1 rout and is desperate for more of the same.

Realistically the opening day of this coming season will come too early when Spurs visit again but Sterry (pictured above with Rafa Benitez and Paul Dummett) wants to be competing as soon as possible for a place in the matchday squad.

Despite a personally successful loan spell at Coventry City, the young defender has revealed that just like Jamaal Lascelles, he played and trained on despite having groin problems for much of the season.

To complicate matters, he had to contend with a kidney infection as well as an operation at the end of the season.

Jamie Sterry speaking to the official site:

“It had been ongoing for half of the season, I would say, even while I was on loan (at Coventry), my right side was a lot weaker than my left.

“My groin had actually gone, that was what the problem was.

“I was meant to have the operation straight after the season but I was in hospital for five days with a kidney infection.

“The hospital basically let me out on day release for the last day of the season, but I had to go straight back after the game, so I couldn’t go out with the lads. I missed out on that.

“It was then a two-week wait for my bloods to get better before I could actually have the op, so that put me back again.

“For two weeks after the operation I couldn’t do a lot, just a bit of upper body work in the gym. I was still ill from the infection as well, which was minging for me.

“I went on holiday for a fortnight, which helped, and I did six or seven sessions in the gym. I couldn’t do any running though, which was a bit of a nightmare.

“But now, this week, I’ve started to kick on. I started running on the AlterG on Monday and by the end of the week I’ll hopefully be running outside.

“From there, it’ll be about getting my fitness back up. I’m ready to work hard, and I’m hoping to be back just before the start of the season.

“They (Tottenham) are a really good team, I made my debut against them, and it’d be great for me to get some minutes, but I need to see if I’m fit first.

“The rest of the lads are back next week and it’d be even better if I was ready to do the same sessions as them but I have things to look forward to.

“We have good physios who will look after me and tell me what to do, and hopefully next season I’ll be able to stay fit and keep going.”