It is looking increasingly unlikely that Jack Colback will ever be seen again in a Newcastle United shirt. The midfielder has been forced to train with the under-23s after being told by manager Rafael Benitez that he was not part of the club’s first-team plans.
And his continued exile comes in spite of the fact that Colback had plenty of opportunities to leave his boyhood club during the summer transfer window. The Chronicle reports that he failed to secure loan moves to Birmingham, Hull City or Wolves.
With the former Sunderland midfielder set to remain inactive until January at the earliest, you wonder whether he regrets not managing to force through a move to the Championship, especially with Wolves looking good odds to replicate Newcastle by storming to promotion.
As it stands, Nuno Espirito Santo’s big-spending side are joint top of the Championship table, level on points with fellow pacesetters Leeds United and Cardiff City.
Saturday’s 2-1 win away at Nottingham Forest was another indicator that Wolves are here to stay in the promotion race while, thanks to a double from Atletico Madrid loanee Diego Jota, only Leeds and Bristol City have scored more league goals in 2017/18.
Wolves is a club on the rise thanks to their affluent Chinese owners, Fosun International, not to mention links with super-agent Jorge Mendes.
Colback, if he had managed to secure a move to Molineux, could have been partnering the Championship’s most expensive ever signing, former Porto wonderkid Ruben Neves, in midfield.
Instead, he is stuck in the reserves at Newcastle, on the outside looking in.