According to the Chronicle, former Newcastle United boss Chris Hughton is keen on raiding his former club in an effort to take Matty Longstaff on loan.
It’s been a bizarre season for the midfielder, who looked as if he would leave St. James’ Park after breaking through last year, only to pen a new two-year deal and duly sit out of most of the campaign so far.
The Vital View
With that in mind, Steve Bruce should afford the younger of the Longstaff clan a temporary exit.
There really is little point in keeping him warming the bench at best, holding him back. Indeed, part of Longstaff’s charm last season was the fact he broke onto the scene with such enthusiasm, with his debut goal against Manchester United in front of the Gallowgate End sure to live long in the memory.
It’s a wonder as to why he couldn’t get into this incarnation of a Newcastle midfield, too.
While Jonjo Shelvey has now recovered from his injury and Isaac Hayden remains a stoic presence, the likes of Miguel Almiron and Fabian Schar have had to operate in the engine room at times this season, with Longstaff sitting out.
Last season, he proved to be one of the Toon’s most effective shooters (recording a rate of one shot on target per goal, the highest in the squad via FBRef) and emerged as a palpable goal threat in a Newcastle context. Given the lack of goals throughout the side (38 in total over the whole season), his 0.31 goals per 90 minutes actually saw him rank third-highest in the whole squad.
Which Longstaff do you prefer?
So, holding him back seems detrimental to a man who has watched his brother stagnate somewhat, meaning he should be allowed to develop elsewhere for the rest of the season.
In other news, we shouldn’t blame Sean Longstaff if he actually does want to leave Newcastle United. Painful as it is, here’s why…