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Newcastle United turn down Everton offer for Sean Longstaff – Report

2 weeks ago
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Thursday brought news of a possible deal between Everton and Newcastle United, that would see Sean Longstaff and Lucas Digne swap clubs.

Sky Sports, amongst others, reporting that a deal could see the Geordie midfielder as a makeweight in a transfer move that would see France’s international left-back move to St James Park.

Sky Sports then ‘clarifying’ the situation, saying that whilst talks had taken place between the two clubs about Lucas Digne, there had been no official bid for the 28 year old from NUFC. However, it was stated that Rafa Benitez and Everton had made a formal offer for Sean Longstaff.

Thursday morning has now seen an update on the situation surrounding Sean Longstaff, with the Shields Gazette saying that their information is that Everton have been rejected with their bid for the 24 year old.

The newspaper stating that their info is that the Everton offer was made last week and that Newcastle United want to agree a new contract with Sean Longstaff, not sell him.

I think fair to say that the position with the midfielder, is that whilst Sean Longstaff hasn’t shown any compelling reason that he must be kept, he has been a major victim of Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley.

Getting his Premier League debut as a sub on Boxing Day 2018 as a 21 year old at Anfield, Sean Longstaff went on to impress alongside Isaac Hayden in eight PL starts against the likes of Tottenham, Man City and Chelsea. Indeed, the midfielder winning the late penalty that saw Newcastle beat Pep Guardiola’s team in January 2019.

In that spell under Rafa Benitez, Sean Longstaff looked a very good young Geordie prospect but once recovered from injury, we never saw the same player under Steve Bruce. With Jonjo Shelvey an automatic pick despite strolling through so many games, Sean Longstaff found himself in and out of the team, in Bruce’s two full seasons the midfielder was named 29 times in the PL starting eleven and 28 times on the bench.

The shambles under Steve Bruce saw so many players confused as to what their exact role was supposed to be in the team and the overall tactics leaving so much to be desired. As a local lad I always thought that this fact brought far more criticism aimed at him than the older Longstaff brother deserved. As a midfielder who likes to get around the pitch and help press the opposition, Steve Bruce’s ultra negative tactics totally stifled Sean Longstaff’s game when he did play.

As for Mike Ashley, he also undoubtedly (for me) contributed to the lack of progress for this Academy product. Instead of playing fair by Sean Longstaff, the then NUFC owner totally messing the midfielder around.

At the start of December 2018, Sean Longstaff signed a three and a half year contract, which at the time was on the basis of him not even having played a single minute of Premier League football. Injuries then meant out of nowhere he got his chance and impressed in that opening spell under Rafa. Now over three years later and 83 first team appearances including 67 in the Premier League, Sean Longstaff still on the same contract / money as was when not having played a single minute of PL football.

Absolutely laughable that Mike Ashley and his minions would claim that they were completely committed to the Academy and producing young local talent, then send out such a dismal message in their treatment of Sean Longstaff, who for me has clearly been the best prospect brought through since Paul Dummett, who made his NUFC first team debut a decade ago!

The claims of Manchester United offering £20m-£50m were clearly nonsense but Sean Longstaff has got something and for me is the only current NUFC central midfielder with any lasting potential to offer in this new era, moving forward.

He can get around the pitch, has a great shot on him from distance, one of very few Newcastle players even willing to shoot from outside the box. His passing is decent and can tackle, is relatively tall so ok for competing in headed duels.

His contract runs out in June but after getting his first starting eleven under Eddie Howe, Sean Longstaff did pretty well against Man Utd, his first PL start since October.

Like almost any other current Newcastle United player, if Sean Longstaff was sold, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. As things stand, almost every position on the pitch has scope for so much improvement with alternatives brought in. Now aged 24, Sean Longstaff isn’t a young prospect, though I do think he still has the potential to improve under Eddie Howe and with better players around him.

The very fact that another Premier League club and a manager that knows him well, points to Sean Longstaff still having that potential for better. Certainly for me, far better clubs would consider taking a chance on him, ahead of the likes of Hendrick, Hayden and others, where the Championship would be their next port of call at best.

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