It’s been a long time coming but perhaps we’re about to see a return to form for a certain Sean Longstaff.
Ever since breaking into the team under Rafa Benitez and seeing his performances rewarded with links to Manchester United, it’s fair to say his stock has dropped. Largely unable to get into the first-team on a regular basis of late, Longstaff looked a long way from the player who drew early comparison with Michael Carrick.
However, yesterday’s win over Everton saw the 23-year-old put in a more than respectable performance.
As per SofaScore, two key passes, one clearance and an 88% passing accuracy saw the likes of Mark Douglas praise him for his ‘best game in a while’ and perhaps the absence of Jonjo Shelvey for the next few weeks will afford him a greater run in the side. Indeed, no one in the Magpies’ XI made more key passes than him, so the creative burden from deep was certainly something he took upon himself.
Which Longstaff do you prefer?
Over the course of the campaign, Longstaff has hit the mark with every one of his three final third passes as well as with both of his long passes attempted so, while these are fairly low numbers, a run in the first-team could be beneficial.
Though it’s probably a bit much to expect 100% consistency should he start playing more and therefore making more passes, he has certainly shown an ability to find his man.
Say it quietly but Sean Longstaff could be finding his feet again too.