Forgotten Socceroo Curtis Good can make it into the Newcastle first team, according to club legend and current Magpies under-23 coach Peter Beardsley.
Good, who turned 24 last week, has been plagued by injuries since joining Newcastle on a six-year deal in 2012, managing only two appearances during his time at St James’ Park.
The situation has led to speculation Good could exit the club earlier than when his current contract expires in mid-2018.
The one-time Socceroo has regained fitness this season, after almost two years out with a hip problem, playing regularly for the club’s under-23’s side.
Newcastle first-team boss Rafa Benitez also used Good in the side’s 3-0 FA Cup loss to Oxford United in January.
Good hasn’t been seen in the first-team squad since, but Beardsley said Good had performed well since his most recent first-team taste and believes he belongs at a higher level and is liked by Benitez.
“If I take a look at Curtis Good he is on another level at the moment,” Beardsley told the Shields Gazette.
“He got a boost from when he was involved with the first-team and I think that really has given him a massive lift. He has been outstanding since then.
“Curtis is in the manager’s thoughts. He obviously trusts him.
“The manager has spoken highly of him. Which is good for him.
“To think of where he was a year ago, with the hip problem, to where he is now, it is great.
“He looks like he should not be on the pitch for us. He looks above this level.”
Good had told FourFourTwo in October that he was hoping to land a January loan move after returning to fitness.
Newcastle and Good's representatives did explore their options in January, but that move didn't eventuate, although his under-23's form is a positive.