Jacob Murphy was told that he was going to be included in Newcastle United's 25-man squad 'weeks ago' and Steve Bruce admits the winger 'couldn't have done any more to try and get himself in the team' after an impressive display against Wolves.
Murphy scored four goals in his final five games on loan at Sheffield Wednesday last season and quickly made an impression when he returned to pre-season training with the Magpies in July.
So much so, Bruce made sure that there was room for Murphy in his Premier League squad and the 25-year-old knew that his place was assured long before the Newcastle head coach formally submitted his list of players last week.
Murphy impressed in the 7-0 rout at Morecambe in the Carabao Cup last month and made his first Premier League start in nearly two years against Wolves on Sunday.
As well as impressing in a new role at right wing-back, Murphy stepped up to score a late free-kick to rescue a point for the Magpies at Molineux - much to Bruce's delight.
"I'm delighted for Jacob. I'm sure there were a few people rolling their eyes when they saw the team sheet," the Newcastle boss told NUFC TV.
"He has deserved to be playing, he has deserved his chance and I'm delighted that he's taken the opportunity. He was arguably our best player today. Fair play to him.
"I saw him on the training ground on Thursday practising free-kicks. He wanted something like that to happen for him because the way he's come back from Sheffield Wednesday, he couldn't have done any more to try and get himself in the team.
Recent fallout over the long-running takeover saga at Newcastle United hasn't just been the talk of Tyneside - it was the talk of the footballing world.
Now, Steve Bruce must recollect his team and push forward without the change of ownership and new backing.
However, the twists and turns aren't over, with current owner Mike Ashley 'considering all options' after the Premier League rejected the £300m takeover.
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"His first call was getting in the 25. I told him weeks ago that he would be in it just because of the way he's been and I think the loan moves away from here have probably stood him in good stead and helped him grow a bit and understand. I'm delighted for him."