Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has admitted he doesn't know how returning attacker Sammy Ameobi will fit into his plans for the rest of the season.
Ameobi's loan at Bolton Wanderers recently ended, with the 24-year-old scoring two League One goals in 20 appearances. The former England U21 has Premier League experience, but Newcastle's wealth of options going forward means Ameobi's chances under Benitez may remain limited.
“He has been training with us, but it’s a shame he’s cup-tied for this game,” Benitez said, as quoted by the Shields Gazette.
“I have had some contact with some of the players on loan. Not all of them because some of them are too young.
“I was watching some games that Sammy was playing, because we know we are short of wingers and he was playing on the right sometimes and scoring some goals.
“Obviously, I have been asking people about him. Then I said ‘look, come back’.
“And then I explained to him what I expected from him. He’s training well, but it’s difficult for him, because it’s obvious that he has changed from one type of training session to another.
“He’s doing well, but he’s a player that I don’t know how much he can give to us. But he will try and we will see.”
Benitez had been hoping to play Ameobi in the Magpies' FA Cup draw against Birmingham City on Saturday, but the forward is cup-tied due to his earlier participation in the competition. Daryl Murphy gave the Championship club the lead, but Lukas Jutkiewicz equalised later in the first half to force a replay.