There’s always room for an exciting wide man in any side, the sort of talent who can leave defenders dumbfounded and get fans off their seats in anticipation.
For a while, it looked as if Rolando Aarons could be that man for Newcastle United. The young winger burst out of the academy and into the first team with a bag of tricks and a knack for humiliating defenders, and it looked for all the world as if he could be the exhilarating attacking force that the Magpies had been waiting for.
Things didn’t quite go to plan, however, and after a series of underwhelming loan spells, to looked as if his career had gone off the rails entirely.
That’s why it came as something of a surprise when Sheffield Wednesday took a gamble to sign him until the end of the season in January.
Their faith has been rewarded, however, with a number of eye-catching performances, and his first goal for the club on Tuesday night against Bolton Wanderers.
So impressive was his shift, manager Steve Bruce was moved to give a ringing endorsement of the 23-year-old.
Speaking to BBC Sheffield, as quoted in the Chronicle (9.50), he said: “Rolando, who’s had a real big impact on us, has capped off a memorable night for him because I thought he was terrific in the second half in particular.
“His career seemed to have fallen off the cliff a little bit, so you blow him a little bit of confidence, put an arm around his shoulder and remind him what a good player he was – which I remember when he first burst onto the scene.
“I’m delighted because he’s given us something we haven’t got – he’s got a little trick, he’s quick, and he’s energetic and young and I’m delighted for him because he’s a really, really good kid. All this nonsense written about him, I’ve not seen it. He’s done great since he walked through the door.”
Aside from how pleasant it is to hear Aarons receiving the kind of praise he has deserved for a while, Bruce’s comments could hint at the sort of rebirth that could be massive for Newcastle.
Christian Atsu, Jacob Murphy, and Kenedy have all disappointed at various points this season for the Magpies, and if Aarons can keep up this kind of performance for his new club, he could find himself back within touching distance of an unlikely first team comeback.