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Opinion

Unpopular Matty Longstaff opinion

5 months ago
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Matty Longstaff now has only 11 weeks remaining on his £850 a week contract at Newcastle United.

Recent days have seen the media turn their attention on the subject once again.

Various journalists and newspapers making all kinds of claims of inside knowledge of what is happening.

Whether there has been a new offer, whether there is a deal on the table, whether there is a take it or leave it offer from Mike Ashley…the bottom line is that they all agree that no agreement has been reached.

Firstly, I would like to say that I think it is an absolute joke that Mike Ashley has refused so far to make Matty Longstaff an acceptable market rate offer.

Secondly, I think it is an even bigger disgrace that Sean Longstaff hasn’t had an acceptable offer of a new deal either.

Thirdly, it is a joke that we have the totally needless January loan deal for Nabil Bentaleb, someone who was instantly put into the team ahead of the two Longstaff brothers and who has been rubbish, no doubt getting paid many times more money that the two brothers combined.

The biggest joke of all though, are Steve Bruce’s shameless comments on behalf of Mike Ashley, making out that this is a case of diehard Newcastle fans being greedy and putting money before football, Bruce’s most recent comments coming the day before NUFC won at Southampton in Newcastle’s last game before football was suspended

Steve Bruce talking to BBC Newcastle:

“I hope he (Matty Longstaff) thinks about his career pathway rather than anything else at the moment.

“That is what he should be focused on.

“Of course it is a concern and I just hope that he looks at it as a football decision.

“I am sure that there are people in his ear…

“I hope he just looks at it as a football career.

“At the end of the day, if you have a successful career money will find you.

“I hope that he finds a conclusion with the club, I really do, we all want him to stay but players have this prerogative (to leave when out of contract).”

Having said all the above, I do have an unpopular Matty Longstaff opinion that goes against what so many people are saying, I don’t think the younger Longstaff brother is actually all that good, certainly on what we have seen so far.

I have seen people comparing the possibility of Matty Longstaff being lost to Newcastle United, to those times in the past when Alan Shearer left the area for Southampton and Gazza moved to Spurs. That is laughable, they were two of the greatest players of their generation and indeed possibly of all time.

I think Matty Longstaff looks like he will have a career in football but to me it is more likely to be in the Championship, a bit like say Adam Armstrong.

However, that in no way excuses the embarrassing situation Mike Ashley has happily let happen, where a local lad who does have some chance of being a Premier League player and is a club asset, has not been offered a decent contract and in a few months time could leave and NUFC only received £400,000 development compensation.

In my opinion, the situation with Sean Longstaff is far far worse, he is Premier League standard. Yes he does have two years left on his contract BUT that contract was signed before he had played a single minute of Premier League football and no doubt the level of wages reflected/reflect that. He has now been playing regular first team football for 16 months now and yet will be getting less money in a year than Jonjo Shelvey (and others) will get in a month.

What kind of message is that sending to Sean Longstaff and maybe more importantly, any other young players that could potentially make it at NUFC?

When it comes to the relative attributes/quality of the two brothers, I think many people have been blinded by the two Premier League goals Matty Longstaff scored against Man Utd, both very good goals.

However, a bit like Jonjo Shelvey having this one-off hotspot this season and ending up top scorer, scoring five goals from only 10 shots on target in the league, it is a similar story with Matty Longstaff.

You look back at his record playing for Newcastle United Under 23s and he hasn’t scored any goals for them in the reserve league. For the Under 18s a very similar story, only six goals in total in three seasons turning out for them.

On the other hand Sean Longstaff is a natural goalscorer from midfield but has had that side of his game stifled by Rafa Benitez and particularly Steve Bruce.

For example he scored six goals in 10 league games for the NUFC Under 23s in 2016/17 and back in 2014/15 grabbed 13 goals in 26 league games for the NUFC Under 18s.

Whilst out on loan he managed three goals in 16 league games as a 19 year old playing for Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premier and nine goals for League One Blackpool in the season he spent on loan there as a 19/20 year old.

A goalscoring midfielder is priceless in the Premier League and Sean Longstaff can be that player potentially if given more license to get forward and needs urgently to be given a contract that shows he is valued. As for Matty Longstaff, he deserves a decent contract as well, as an asset to the club and somebody who still has some small chance of making it in the top tier.

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