Newcastle winger Cal Roberts has said that he hopes to leave the club on a loan deal in January.
The 21-year-old's prospects of breaking into Rafa Benitez's first-team setup have improved with the departure of Rolando Aarons. But Matt Ritchie, Christian Atsu, Jacob Murphy and Kenedy are all still above him in the pecking order.
The Toon boss has indicated that the player could get his chance this season if other players suffer injuries, yet that's hardly a guarantee and Roberts reckons his chances of cutting his teeth in a senior group would be heightened if he moved on loan.
Benitez deployed the attacker as a full-back during Newcastle's pre-season as part of an experiment and he didn't disappoint at all. However, he knows that he won't get the nod ahead of the aforementioned players if he can't continuously impress his boss.
"It's a case of impressing Rafa Benitez," he told the Chronicle.
“You just have to keep playing as well as you can and then it’s in his hands from there. I went away in pre-season with the first team.”
“I think I learned a lot," he said of his experiences during the pre-season. "I think I have learned the hard side of the game which you can now see in my game.
“It’s been more about learning the defensive side of the game which not every winger likes to do. Sometimes I won’t get as many touches as I like to. But you just have to do what you need for the team. When the whole team does that you end up getting the wins.
“Hopefully I can get that loan move in January."
Roberts has been with Newcastle since he was eight. He's only left the club on two occasions, having played at Gateshead and Kilmarnock on temporary deals in 2015 and 2017.
While he could be handed an opportunity to show his worth in Magpies colours, it seems like he'd rather gain more first-team experience elsewhere.