Time to rejoice: Sean Longstaff is apparently keen on staying at Newcastle United another year despite interest from Manchester United being reported by the Telegraph in May.
Heading into the summer, Newcastle United are facing plenty of uncertainty; Rafael Benitez is yet to sign a contract extension, Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is possibly buying the club from Mike Ashley, and ten players are set to be released, including midfielder Mo Diame.
It’ll come as welcome news, then, that one of Newcastle’s brightest prospects Sean Longstaff, who is said to be on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s radar, is reportedly (as per the Chronicle) keen on continuing his development at St. James’ Park.
The 21-year-old burst onto the scene on Boxing Day, and though he has only accumulated around 2200 minutes worth of first-team football, it’s become abundantly clear to us all what kind of player Newcastle fans can expect in the future – a defensively sound midfield powerhouse.
Indeed, in just his fifth Premier League start, Longstaff was given Man of the Match for an exceptional defensive performance away at Wolves which saw him manage 7 interceptions and 18 recoveries, as per Manchester Evening News, while he has produced on average 1.9 tackles and 1.1 interceptions this season.
The importance of holding onto the Englishman has been increased ten-fold by the simple and alarming fact that Newcastle currently only have six recognised centre-midfield players. Diame, of course, is leaving and Isaac Hayden is constantly linked away. Another, Jack Colback, is said to have accepted a first-team role in black and white is unlikely, regardless of whether Benitez extends his stay.
All that would leave just Jonjo Shelvey (linked away himself), Ki and Longstaff behind. Yikes. So, hopefully for every member of the Toon Army, the 21-year-old in question will be sticking around.
Obviously, just because the North Shields-born midfield maestro apparently wants to stay doesn’t mean he will, considering the fact Andy Carroll claimed he wanted to remain with his boyhood charges in 2011, only to be forced out after Liverpool’s £35m bid. Still, his apparent commitment to the cause is undoubtedly a good thing for a side already shrouded in so much uncertainty.
Newcastle fans, what does the news about Longstaff mean to you? Can you see an effective recruitment drive happening this summer? Let us know in the comments below…