Noel Whelan has revealed to Football Insider that Newcastle United central midfield player Matty Longstaff could follow in the footsteps of Paul Gascoigne if he moves to Italy in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Does Longstaff start for Newcastle after the takeover?
As per the outlet, the former striker of Leeds United has urged him to follow the path of Gazza and move to the Serie A after Udinese tabled Longstaff a rather lucrative contract.
Whelan claimed that the 20-year-old will only improve if he is playing football regularly, which he may not get if he decides to stay at St. James’ Park.
Sky Sports revealed last week that Longstaff has been offered a £30,000-a-week contract with a relatively healthy signing-on bonus to join the Italian outfit.
The original contract offer from the Tyneside club was just half of that figure but the Magpies have since returned with a much improved deal worth over £20,000-a-week.
Longstaff, who is out of contract on 30 June, has scored three goals in 12 senior appearances so far in the 2019/20 season, according to Transfermarkt.
When asked by the outlet if a move abroad could be beneficial for the England Under-20 international, Whelan told the publication:
“Is he going to be playing week in, week out at Newcastle next season? Probably not. He will be a bit-part player.
“He needs to think about his own career and being somewhere where he is a permanent fixture in a side. That is the only way to progress his talent.
“I know he is Newcastle born and bred and he supports the club but you have got to start your career off somewhere.
“With this takeover looming there is a lot of players who may be surplus to requirements because they will be looking for international quality players to break into the top-six. He needs to look after himself.
“Playing in Italy is an attractive proposition – Serie A is a strong league again. “It would only develop him, experiencing that continental style of football. I think the Udinese offer is hard one to turn down.
“Gazza has been over there for Lazio, they love a Geordie over there!”
Indeed, Gazza played 47 games for SS Lazio across three successive campaigns in all competitions, netting six times and providing three assists, as per Transfermarkt.
However, it is not guaranteed that Longstaff would have as much success in Italy, as he would have to adapt to a new country and potentially a new style of football.
Nevertheless, Whelan has suggested that he could develop as a player in the league, but only time will tell whether it would really be a good move for him.
Geordies, could Longstaff thrive in Italy? Comment below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience