Longstaff has so far been ruled out of action at the start of the campaign with a recurrence of a thigh injury which had kept him out of the side during the closing stages of last season, as per the Northern Echo. However, the midfielder is thought to be nearing a return to action after returning to training, as per Chronicle Live.
Magpies hold firm over midfielder
Newcastle have managed to add to their midfield options with the arrival of Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer from Burnley. The Magpies, though, had been hoping to further strengthen in that area, but missed out on both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley due to not being able to shift unwanted players, as per Chronicle Live.
Longstaff only just signed a new two-year deal with the Magpies in the summer, which prevented Newcastle from losing the midfielder on a free transfer. The 20-year-old burst onto the scene last term with a debut goal in a 1-0 win against Manchester United, and he made eight further league appearances. His form earned praise from BBC pundit Martin Keown, who likened him to Paul Scholes.
It has now been reported that the Magpies have fielded interest in the midfielder being taken on loan by clubs in the Championship, but he is set to remain at St James’ Park and fight for his place in the side when he returns to full fitness.
Matty Longstaff needs to back up early promise
Undoubtedly, Longstaff showed his potential last season in his breakthrough campaign, with the midfielder scoring twice in nine appearances and averaging an 80% passing accuracy (via Sofascore). The 20-year-old, though, will need to improve his consistency and defensive output to really secure his place in the side.
The 20-year-old should be a key part of Bruce’s plans, but he needs to show that he can compete for regular minutes during the rest of the campaign. Had Newcastle brought in another midfielder it could have allowed them to let Longstaff leave on loan, but their failure to shift players has meant they could not strengthen and therefore have to keep the midfielder in their squad.
Geordies, can Longstaff establish himself in the first-team this season? Let us know your thoughts below!
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