ALAN Pardew says Newcastle United prepared to take a gamble on Sammy Ameobi’s contractual situation.
Ameobi is out of contract next summer – and free to talk to clubs next month about a move.
But the club is yet to table a new deal – despite the forward’s impressive form.
Ameobi is been playing for his future at St James’s Park – and United manager Pardew feels his “hunger” for a deal is behind his recent performances.
The 22-year-old – who had looked set to leave the club at the end of his deal before breaking into the side in late October – has been a regular starter for Newcastle, who face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League tomorrow.
Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick – who will be in goal with Tim Krul and Rob Elliot sidelined through injury – is also in the last year of his deal.
“Sammy’s in the same situation as Jak, althought he’s turned the tables a bit for himself,” said Pardew.
“That hunger is sometimes a good hunger – let’s hope he continues on that path.”
Pardew, however, has conceded that holding back on a deal is a risky business for United, who have previously protected their interests in young players by handing them long contracts.
“We take risks all the time with contracts,” added Pardew.
“You give kids five year contracts like Haris (Vuckic) has got, for example, and sometimes you make calls either way.
“Sometimes you make those calls because of the personality of the player.
“I think Sammy having his contract up at the end of the year is a good thing for him. It keeps him hungry.”
Alnwick, meanwhile, is set to play the next “six to eight” games, with Elliot sidelined until the New Year and Krul not expected to return until mid-January.
The 21-year-old came off the bench against Chelsea and made a series of saves as Jose Mourinho’s side laid seige to United’s goal.
On Alnwick, Pardew said: “Robbie will be out for six to eight games, so it’s a great opportunity fo Jak and he’s very keen to take it.
“He’s had a great start and has fitted in very well.
“He has worked very hard in the background, but never had an opportunity
“I have great faith in him, but he will need a lot of luck as well, particularly in that crucial position. He deserves a bit of luck, because he is a cracking lad, and I’m very proud of him. “