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Newcastle's 4-0 defeat to Southampton at the weekend marked a second consecutive thrashing, and with Manchester United travelling to the North East this weekend, Magpies boss Alan Pardew says he may look to make changes for the visit of the Red Devils after such a flat display against Southampton.
"We certainly looked like we needed some freshening up," Pardew said. "I will have to look at that against Man United. We don't want our season to fizzle out. We have ourselves in a position now after two big defeats where we have to have a big response."
As a result, many are speculating that winger Hatem Ben Arfa may have sealed his exit from the club having been hauled off at half time against Southampton. The enigmatic winger seemingly flits between the magical and the downright frustrating, and having been on the fringes for some time, the Frenchman didn't seize his opportunity against the Saints and could now be sold in the summer.
Meanwhile, young midfielder Rolando Aarons has become the the latest starlet to commit his future to Newcastle. The 18-year-old was recently in the first-team squad for the Magpies' game against Fulham, and having impressed in the youth setup, Aarons will now be given the chance to make an impact - which he believes he can do under manager Alan Pardew.
“I’m buzzing – it’s a special moment for me,” said Aarons. “This is where it starts, and I need to get my head down. The hard work starts now. I feel like I’m stronger, faster and fitter, and I’ve benefited from the work I’ve been doing with the fitness coaches here.
“It seems as through the gaffer (Alan Pardew) is really interested in bringing young players through, so it gives you hope that you’ll get a chance if you keep doing well," he added.