Rafa Benitez says he has an open mind on Sammy Ameobi after the forward returned to Newcastle United.
Ameobi this week reported back to the club after his half-season loan at Bolton Wanderers ended.
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.Rafa Benitez
The League One club haven’t given up hope of re-signing 24-year-old before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
United manager Benitez is assessing Ameobi’s readiness to play a part in his team’s Championship campaign while Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu are away at the African Cup of Nations.
Ameobi, however, is ineligible for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s, having turned out in the competition for Bolton earlier in the season.
“He has been training with us, but it’s a shame he’s cup-tied for this game,” said Benitez.
“I have had some contact with some of the players on loan. Not all of them because some of them are too young.
“Some of them I follow, my staff follow others, but we are monitoring them.
“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.”
Defender Jamie Sterry has also returned from a half-season loan at League One club Coventry City.
Forward Adam Armstrong will stay at Championship side Barnsley for the rest of the campaign after his loan was extended.
Striker Ivan Toney is also back from a loan spell at Shrewsbury Town.
“Arma will stay at Barnsley,” said Benitez.
“Sterry is training with us, but we have a lot of bodies in this position, so it’s not easy.
“We are doing well. People have come from another division to make the difference and help. It depends on them all.”