Rafa Benitez has handed big chances to several NUFC youngsters following the players return to pre-season training, with Sean Longstaff, Cal Roberts and Yosef Yarney all handed the chance to mix it with the first-team.
This is great to see from Benitez, who’s also sent the likes of Jack Colback and Achraf Lazaar to train with the reserves in order to give some of our top young players their chance to show what they can do this summer.
Longstaff (midfielder) returns to Tyneside in great form after scoring 9 and assisting 6 during a successful loan spell with Blackpool last season, while winger Cal Roberts will be eager to impress after signing a new deal following some impressive displays for our U-23’s.
Yarney’s call up is perhaps the biggest surprise, however Rafa will be light on centre-backs with Mbemba waiting to complete his move to Porto, allowing him to take a closer look at the ex-Everton defender he signed up to the U-23’s two years ago.
Young centre-back Josef Yarney called up to train with #nufc first team. Chancel Mbemba waiting on Porto move.
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) July 8, 2018
The likes of Victor Fernandez and Adam Armstrong are also involved with the first-team, which is good to see.
Fernandez will be one to watch over pre-season after impressing during our mid-season friendly earlier in the year vs Royal Antwerp, while Armstrong may be playing for his future at NUFC, with the Chronicle suggesting that he may be sold just a few weeks ago.
Good luck to them. Let’s hope all five can show us and Rafa what they’re capable of over the coming weeks.
I’ll have my eye on Longstaff and Fernandez in particular – being two players I have high hopes for after watching them shine at U-23 level.