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With that in mind, I’m suspecting Matty Longstaff won’t be a Newcastle United player for much longer

2 years ago

Now before I begin, if the protracted takeover of the club finally comes to pass then all this will become a moot point.

However, as things stand, the state of affairs is that Mike Ashley’s ownership of Newcastle United is continuing and we as fans can’t really do anything about it.

That though doesn’t stop us as fans weighing up the whys and wherefores of why the club aren’t doing it’s best to retain it’s brightest prospect in a decade.

Not since Andy Carroll broke onto the scene, have we had a player who not only looked the part in the reserves to such an extent that he was deemed good enough to train with ‘the big lads’, but to actually get thrown into the first team and do pretty well, is a testament to how much potential Matty Longstaff has at just 20 years of age.

Most clubs would be building a side around such a player and employing a manager (not a head coach) to oversee such development, which includes knowing when to pull a young player out of the firing line whenever form drops and ‘learn his trade’, as it used to be known. There’s a difference to ‘learning a trade’ and ‘plying a trade’. For example, Jonjo Shelvey is plying his trade, Matty Longstaff is learning his.

When a youngster comes through it’s always a bonus, that the player is a local lad is even better and something that should be embraced and nurtured. That he could walk away for a paltry £400,000 development fee is criminal.

That such a prospect is paid £800 a week when other more senior players are flattering to deceive on far higher sums is particularly galling and shows supreme mismanagement. Paying failing players vast sums and even going out and recruiting others while your best prospect is being seemingly allowed to leave is scandalous.

It also brings into the question the loan players that came in last January. Nabil Bentaleb, Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro have offered little or nothing in regards to improving the squad and presumably the club are at least subsidising their wages, a subsidy that could easily have gone on securing Matty Longstaff a better contract than the one on offer.

Mike Ashley has said in the past that he would love to see another Andy Carroll come through the academy and (for once) I believe him. That £35m for nowt was easy money and he has done it with many other sales over the years. Flogging the likes of Shay Given and James Milner in particular when he didn’t spend a penny on them, were glaring examples of profit over team building taking place.

The economics at the club are backwards and have no forward planning or logic. I would continue to highlight the greed behind them but the mismanagement by the people who scout and ultimately decide on paying the fees and wages for players, is so barmy it defies common sense.

Solely on the subject of Matty Longstaff, the club haven’t learned from the Salomon Rondon deal. The idea of replacing Rondon with Joelinton was crackers and for what? Refuse to pay for someone who has proven to be able to do a job, already at the club, in favour of one that hasn’t. That’s what’s happening with Matty Longstaff. Let him go and it will cost far more to replace him in both transfer fee and wage with no guarantee of success.

We don’t know the innards of the deal being touted for Matty, only the player, his advisors and the clubs involved will know such things. Does the contract offer from Udinese exist? Is it a back door route to playing for Watford as the family who own Udinese, also own the Premier League club? Are his agents calling Newcastle United’s bluff with the rumoured £30,000 a week offer allegedly on the table from elsewhere?

Given that top Championship clubs can offer better than what Newcastle United have supposedly put in front of the player, it’s hardly a shock to expect the player and his advisors to hold out for more than the alleged £20k a week. If it’s down to ambition from Newcastle United I can fully understand the player telling his advisors to look elsewhere to further his career. Like I’ve said, a progressive Championship club looking to do more than simply just survive relegation in the Premier League would bring far greater rewards both financially and football wise.

The solution to the Matty Longstaff problem is going to be resolved if the takeover goes through in the next week or so. If the club gets sold, the contract going in Matty’s direction will be far greater than £20k a week and the club will have far more ambition than merely surviving relegation year on year. His agents will be hanging on this and if the takeover fails and doesn’t go through by the time their clients contract expires (30 June 2020) then they will have three choices, either have a client out of work, take the Newcastle United offer, or accept one from elsewhere.

Matty Longstaff won’t be without a club in July. He will probably see his contract out and play out the remainder of the season as a Newcastle player. He also knows the way his current employer works and treats its staff on all levels. So with that in mind, I’m suspecting Matty Longstaff won’t be a Newcastle United player for much longer…


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