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Opinion

Manchester United ‘£50m bid’ for Sean Longstaff shows up ridiculous nature of transfer window

6 months ago
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Throughout the entirety of the summer 2019 transfer window, it was reported that Manchester United were trying to sign Sean Longstaff.

The Old Trafford club targeting young British players as they allegedly moved away from targeting big names, buying Daniel James from Swansea and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace, with other signings also aimed at.

Sean Longstaff had only started eight Premier League matches but early summer saw reports of a claimed £25m bid to buy the Newcastle  midfielder, that figure said to have climbed to £50m towards the end of the transfer window, as Manchester United became more desperate.

I’m sorry but this transfer saga all seemed a little bizarre to me and one that suited both clubs, especially Newcastle United. The media reporting Man Utd wanting to spend £50m on another player with NUFC refusing to sell their brightest young prospect, even for £50m.

This just didn’t feel to me like the story was in touch with reality, yes transfer fees have soared but where on earth do you get a £50m valuation from?

Of his eight Premier League starts in 2018/19, I thought Sean Longstaff had played very well in maybe three games, had a good game in another couple, then poor to average in the other three.

The onset of the January 2020 transfer window has seen the transfer story brought back to life, Manchester United now reported to be even more keen to pay the £50m, especially with Scott McTominay now out injured.

Sean Longstaff has added another nine Premier League starts this season and to be honest, I don’t think he’s played very well in any of them. Maybe three or four of them he has been decent but the rest of them not so good.

That doesn’t mean that the midfielder isn’t going to make it or that Newcastle should sell him, in fact quite the opposite.

However, it is laughable to suggest that anybody would pay £50m for Sean Longstaff or indeed anything close to that.

In fact it is laughable that a club would be willing to pay anything  like £40m or £50m for any NUFC player, especially the one who cost £40m only six months ago…

If Newcastle United had a credible manager and he had control of transfers in and out, if anybody offered £50m for any of Newcastle’s squad then I would sell them like a shot and reinvest the money where it is most needed.

Hand on heart, as things stand I would say Sean Longstaff is worth maybe up to £15m at the very most on what we have seen and even that figure is largely based on potential.

Our most exciting players are Saint-Maximin and Almiron but I don’t think either have done anything so far that would make anybody pay more than the £20m they each cost. If they started scoring and assisting regularly then of course their value would go up accordingly.

Dubravka and Schar have probably been our best players these past 18 months and the keeper especially is priceless to NUFC…but for other clubs I think the reality is nobody would offer more than £15m-£20m for either of them and probably in reality not even that.

It is always easy to get carried away with your own players and big them up because you want them to succeed but in reality, Newcastle at the  moment have nobody in the attacking half who can be relied on to score and/or create goals on a regular basis, which is of course what people will pay top dollar for.

At the back we have a committed set of central defenders but they do play in a very defensive system that very much minimises them getting too exposed and left one on one with attacking players, where their lack of pace and any other weakness might be exposed in a straight match up.

Palace pocketed £50m for Wan-Bissaka in the summer and do you honestly think that Mike Ashley would knock that back for Sean Longstaff, a player who cost him nothing?

We worry about losing players such as Schar and others but is maybe the reality that he and the rest are just decent committed professionals of a certain level and ambitious/successful clubs see them as that as well, with nobody having any serious interest in trying to buy any Newcastle player for serious money?

Surely it is no coincidence that Newcastle are desperate to sign better quality players who can create more chances and/or score more goals?

It is because as it stands, they don’t possess (valuable must have/buy) players able to do those things.

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