Sean Longstaff made his debut last night in the defeat to Notts Forest. The 20-year-old had an excellent year on loan at Blackpool in League One last season and Rafa Benitez was keen for the midfielder to be given a run out for the first team this campaign.
Although it was a tough night for all concerned, he didn’t let anyone down and was neat and tidy on the ball at the City Ground.
Fans on Twitter were mostly impressed by Longstaff:
Longstaff was our only shining light I would put him in with shelvey when fit
— paul anderson (@ando_anderson) 29 August 2018
Longstaff had a great game
— Sam (@Bigweave24) 30 August 2018
Longstaff was brilliant tonight by the way. What an excellent debut. Kenedy, Atsu and Muto especially frustrated me. #nufc
— James (@James_NUFC1892) 29 August 2018
Not one to whinge on about the toon but that was a shocking performance, only longstaff can walk away with any credit. Schoolboy errors from minute 1. #NUFC
— Dale Phair (@Dalephair) 29 August 2018
Positive Pete amongst all the negativity… Longstaff looks tidy… Sterry looked alright… Big boy Rondon scored a cracker… Fernández defended on his own at times #nufc ♥
— Jamie Dale (@Obafemi9) 29 August 2018
Am I the only person who thought that Longstaff was good yesterday?#nufc
— Dutch Magpie ????????????????⚫️⚪️ (@robinnufc) 30 August 2018
Positives, if any, to come from that game, I thought Longstaff had a steady debut #NUFC
— Mark Purvis (@markyp83) 29 August 2018
However, some don’t believe he has the quality to play in the Premier League:
I’ve seen a few people say Longstaff was decent last night i thought he was way off the pace and not good enough to be in that side and they were poor #NUFC
— Kez (@I_amKeroinKanye) 30 August 2018
Neat touches and good with both feet but can’t tackle, passes lacking accuracy and easily knocked off the ball
— RitchiesMagic ???? (@RitchiesMagic) 30 August 2018
Longstaff was alright tonight but not PL quality yet #nufc
— Laurence Taylor ️⚽️⚫️⚪️???????????????????????????????????? (@laurence_1999) 29 August 2018
Personally, I think he did ok, and he was certainly better than a number of senior players who started last night. It does seem as though Rafa is keen to offer the youngster more opportunities. He decided against loaning the player out to Portsmouth earlier this summer.
With only three other senior central midfielders in Jonjo Shelvey, Ki Sung-Yueng and Mo Diame, Longstaff could make his Premier League debut in the not too distant future. He was on the bench against Chelsea last week, and he could yet feature against Manchester City on Saturday.