Sean Longstaff has undeniably been the breakout star of the season at Newcastle. The young midfielder was given a chance in the first team as Rafa Benitez dealt with a shortage of options in the middle of the park, and he certainly took his chance.
Fast forward a few months, and now Longstaff finds himself as a regular in the Newcastle first team, and with good reason. Offering excellent agility, tenacity and determination, he’s been a fantastic choice this term.
Naturally, though, whenever a young player graduates from the Newcastle Academy, thought immediately turns to who could be next, and Newcastle expert Lee Ryder has revealed who he thinks could make the jump.
Speaking during a Q&A for the Chronicle (Live blog, 15:16), when asked if there’s another player like him in the Academy, Ryder said: I’d say that Kell Watts, Matty Longstaff or keeper Nathan Harker are close but could all do with loan spells at the right clubs.’
Clearly, then, we may be a little way off seeing another graduate, but it’s great to see that there’s young talent down there.
Kell Watts currently plays with the Newcastle under-23s, and he’s a defender that has, in the past, served as captain during his time in the developmental system. Matthew Longstaff is the brother of Sean, and he’s a player with a lot of ability. He’s a versatile midfielder, and he is best used as a deep-lying central option. Nathan Harker is a talented goalkeeper that certainly has a bright future, which will be of interest given our recent struggles between the sticks.
We may be waiting a while, but talent is certainly bubbling.