Newcastle winger set for FA Cup outing '“ four years after making debut

Callum Roberts is in line for an FA Cup appearance '“ four years after making his debut in the competition.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 8:39 am
Callum Roberts.
Callum Roberts.

Roberts has been called up to Newcastle United’s first-team squad for tonight’s third-round replay against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

And the 21-year-old “has a chance” of starting the tie, according to Rafa Benitez.

Roberts made his debut in a third-round defeat to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in January 2015.

The winger has since had loan spells at Gateshead and Kilmarnock and has been attracting interest from a number of clubs, including Shrewsbury, in this month’s transfer window.

Sean Longstaff and Freddie Woodman – who started the first game, which ended 1-1 – are in line to start the replay.

Longstaff made his full Premier League debut in the weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez is looking to find a “balance” ahead of Saturday’s home Premier League game against Cardiff City.

“You see who is injured then find the balance between those who were playing games and maybe they have little problems, players who have to play and players who maybe have to play against Cardiff,” said United’s manager.

Meanwhile, Benitez will assess midfielder Jonjo Shelvey ahead of the Cardiff game.

“We’re just checking,” said Benitez.

“The problem is Jonjo was pushing to play. That’s positive in one way, (but also) negative, because he was feeling it a little bit still – so he played in the FA Cup and after the game he was feeling his thigh. It’s a pity.”