Rafa Benitez says Jacob Murphy still has a future at Newcastle United – after loaning the winger out to West Bromwich Albion.
Murphy joined the Championship club on transfer deadline day.
The 23-year-old had only made a handful of Premier League appearances in the first half of the campaign.
And Benitez – who has more attacking options following the arrivals of Miguel Almiron and Antonio Barreca – feels that Murphy needs to be playing week in, week out between now and the end of the season.
"He has been training really well," said United's manager. "He has been very professional. He's a really nice lad.
"When he was playing he had some good games. The goal against Manchester City was a really good goal. There were some games where he was not performing so well.
"Then you have you have players in his position who were doing well or different."
Benitez – who signed Murphy from Norwich City in the summer of 2017 for £12million – hopes that the boyhood Newcastle fan can fulfil his potential on Tyneside.
"I can see his potential – it's very clear," said Benitez. "It's obvious. He has to play every single game.
"I think he will have this chance (at West Brom). He has the potential. If he's playing, he he will be a better player at the end of the season. He just has to reach this potential."
Murphy has linked up with United's Dwight Gayle at The Hawthorns.
“We’ve been in contact, and I’m looking forward to partnering up again with him," said Murphy. "Knowing that he was here helped me."