Aarons, who has been on the books at Newcastle since his was 16 after joining from Bristol City told NUFC TV that “It’s something that was always going to happen, but it’s nice to get it done.”
An injury hit spell over the past few seasons has hampered the 20-year-old’s progress, but Aarons now feels he now kick-on and play a vital role in the United first team picture for the coming years: “Under the new manager, there's a project and it's a forward-thinking Club now, so I'm just happy to be part of what the manager has in store for the Club and I'm happy that he has faith in me.”
Aarons said he “loves the club” and signing a long-term deal “shows it even more”. He also stated that he would “like to repay him (Benitez), the fans and my family for this opportunity.”
Hot prospect before injuries
Aarons broke onto the first team scene in 2014 when he assisted and scored in a 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace. But he will be fondly remembered by the Geordies for his goal four days later against Manchester City in the 2-0 win at the Etihad in the EFL Cup. However, Aarons’ breakthrough failed to materialised for the rest of the 2014/2015 season as injuries restricted the teenager to six appearances.
The 20-year-old worked hard over the 2015/2016 pre-season in a bid to become fully fit as the Steve McClaren tenure got underway. Aarons won a place in the squad in five of the Magpies’ opening six game. But again, an injury to the youngster saw him miss 15 constitutive games between September and January.
With doubts over the winger’s fitness, Aarons was in and out of the first team squad. Still, Aarons featured as a second-half substitute against Tottenham in which he netted the fourth in a 5-1 win.
Lively pre-season – hoping to carry it on
The 20-year-old looked fresh and confident as ever with constant desire to drive at his opponents. The Aarons that Toon fans saw in pre-season reminded them of the potential that he first brought two years ago.
Aarons starred in each of Newcastle’s five pre-season fixtures, starting four of them. In them outings, the winger scored and assisted against Bohemians as well as adding another assists against Sporting Lokeren.
The Championship – a strong platform to perform on
When the Magpies took part in the Championship seven years ago, young players like Andy Carroll embraced the second tier of English football in an effort to build as players. And there is no reason why Aarons wont do the same.
Championship football could be a blessing in disguise on a personal level for Aarons as he’ll get many more opportunites to play than he’d probably get in the Premier League.
With the winger’s recent injury problems, if Aarons can stay away from injury and perform on a consistently solid basis, that will improve the youngsters’ confidence. The ability is there for Aarons, it’s just all about keeping fit and playing football again.
Toon finally realising the importance of youth academy products
Aarons joins Freddie Woodman, who also signed a new five-year-deal with the club last week.
The re-signing of Aarons and Woodman highlights the change in direction from the club due to Benitez’ having full control of footballing matters. The Magpies have failed to nurture any youth products into the first team, with Adam Armstrong becoming the only noticeable addition.
Newcastle have nailed down the futures of two future internationals. And with the changes made in the youth academy through Benitez, the adoption of youth system can only grow.
So, Newcastle fans can expect the Woodman and Aarons’ deals to become a common occurrence in the future.