According to the Newcastle Chronicle, Magpies youngster Rolando Aarons has explained how he had no qualms about opting out of a summer holiday this year as he looks to re-establish himself at St James' Park.
While his team-mates enjoyed the post-season period by setting off on their travels, the 19-year-old worked through the summer to try and be fit for the new campaign.
This hard graft looks to have paid dividends, as the winger stood out in the Magpies' recent 2-1 loss to Club Atlas.
Speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle, Aarons said, “I didn’t play last season so there was no reason for me to go on holiday. I just wanted to get a bit more work in because I want to play a lot of games. The main thing for me this season is to just get games.
“I didn’t (do that) last season so I am just happy to be back to playing again.”
And when asked if this could be a big season for him, Aarons added: “Every season is a big season, this one is no different to last season.”
What do the stats say?
Despite impressing briefly for the Magpies under Alan Pardew throughout the first half of the 2014/15 campaign, following a hamstring problem in November, he went on to make just one substitute appearance for the rest of the season. In total, he featured just four times in the Premier League - a record he will be looking to improve upon during the upcoming campaign.
He showed significant promise, regardless of his lack of minutes. Throughout his four substitute appearances, he fashioned two key passes, while completing 67% of his attempted take ons. Meanwhile, he found the back of the net during his cameo against Crystal Palace, as he finished the season with a 20% conversion rate.
Aarons is clearly a talented youngster, he simply failed to gain the trust of John Carver towards the latter stages of the season - in what proved to be a testing period for all involved at the club. Perhaps under Steve McClaren, the effort he has shown during the pre-season period will be fully recognised, and he will be rewarded with a starting berth this term.