Sean Longstaff transfer to Tottenham could be on after Pini Zahavi signs up midfielder – Report
Pini Zahavi has signed up Sean Longstaff.
The Mail report that the Newcastle United midfielder’s deal with Beswicks Sports had expired and that their information is that the Israeli ‘super agent’ has now signed the senior Longstaff brother on a 12 month arrangement to be his agent.
Pini Zahavi looks after a lot of top players, including Robert Lewandowski and Neymar, plus he was the one representing Aleksandar Mitrovic when the striker signed on for Newcastle United.
The Mail say that Zahavi sees high potential in Sean Longstaff and ‘Sources say the 77-year-old Israeli had previously told those close to Longstaff he could sort a move to Tottenham, and it is thought a fresh attempt will be made to arrange a transfer if no new deal is forthcoming at St James’ Park.’
The newspaper reporting that the 12 month arrangement has come about in order to sort a new contract with Newcastle United, or failing that, a move elsewhere.
It is exactly two years and two days since Sean Longstaff signed a three and a half year contract with Newcastle United, The midfielder aged 21 at that point and never having played a single minute of Premier League football, a contract that obviously reflected that fact.
Breaking into the PL first team with an impressive sub debut at Liverpool on Boxing Day 2018, Sean Longstaff almost scoring in that game, the midfielder then never looked back as injuries gave him the opportunity and he formed an excellent flourishing midfield partnership with Isaac Hayden. The pair combining well to win four games and draw one in an eight match run, including Sean Longstaff having a great game and winning the penalty to help Newcastle beat Man City 2-1.
Injury to Longstaff halted that run of games but Newcastle fans saw the makings of a potentially excellent young midfield partnership.
After recovering from the injury in time for the 2019/20 season, fair to say that under Steve Bruce the form of Sean Longstaff has been more up and down. The over the top negative tactics employed by Bruce have hardly helped, plus the Head Coach’s insistence on playing Jonjo Shelvey as often as he can, with Shelvey’s poor workrate and lack of mobility making it so much tougher for whoever plays alongside him.
Mike Ashley has refused to offer a decent contract that recognises the progress Sean Longstaff has made, so over two years after signing that contract when he hadn’t played a single Premier League minute, the midfielder is still on the same money. In that time he has made 51 first team appearances, including 39 in the Premier League, having made just one League Cup appearance before signing the current deal on 3 December 2018.
Maybe the demands of Sean Longstaff and his previous agent were unreasonable, however, Mike Ashley could still have given the midfielder a pay rise in the meantime as it is ridiculous to have somebody playing regularly for much of the past two years in the first team when he is on a pittance (paid 5% / 10% of what Shelvey is on?) compared to most of them around him. Sean Longstaff has started the last four Premier League matches, including the wins over Palace and Everton.
Any bargaining power Newcastle United / Mike Ashley may have, as they have left Sean Longstaff dangling on this pittance of a contract for two years, will have gone in six months time, by then he will be 24 and have only one year left on his Newcastle deal and potentially set to see out another year and walk away for nothing if no new deal or move sorted.
Media loyal to Mike Ashley have been happy to put out stories pointing to Sean Longstaff (and his brother Matty!) as the unreasonable one(s) but we have seen this often in the past as well. Mike Ashley refusing to pay the going rate and then getting the media to wage a PR offensive against players such as Danny Simpson and Demba Ba amongst others.
Mike Ashley and his minions such as Lee Charnley are always quick to claim how keen they are to have more young players come through. Yet the owner refuses to allow proper funding for the Academy to be the best it can be and then treats the Longstaff brothers like this when they do break through, what kind of message does that send to any other young prospects at Newcastle United?
On what he has achieved so far, talk of a move to Tottenham is very unlikely, though not quite as daft as the media claiming Manchester United were willing to pay £50m for Sean Longstaff last season.
He is though still a player with great potential and a midfielder who has a very good past record of scoring goals, especially from distance – so unlucky with that one that hit the bar against Chelsea in the last home game. In a more attacking team with a decent manager, Sean Longstaff could really progress again, very quickly.
A Newcastle United fan desperate to do his best for his club and surely desperate to stay if treated right, earlier this year Sean Longstaff said what it meant to him playing for Newcastle United:
“To go out and play football for Newcastle is something I have always dreamt of.
“The fans are amazing and they give you their full support and every week I’m trying to give me best.
“Maybe bits of quality might not happen but you can’t question how much I am giving to the club, that won’t stop.
“I have got confidence in myself to come through whatever spell it is, it is all a challenge, a part of learning, it’s all a part of playing football at the highest level. I relish that challenge, really.
“I think as much as it helps being from Newcastle, it can be a bit of a burden at times, because anything that does happen, you’re the first one to get pointed at. It’s a great pressure to have.
“It is a pressure I’ve that I’ve always wanted since I was a young lad. It’s something I’m dealing with at the minute. I’m still loving every second of it.”
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