Celtic are set to be dealt a significant blow as Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United is likely to sign a new deal at St. James’ Park. It was reported earlier that the Hoops were keeping track of this impressive midfielder who was in the final year of his contract. Some reports claimed that the 20-year-old could have been available for as low as £300,000 in January as he was in the final year of his contract. Manchester United scouts were also often seen monitoring this youngster’s situation.
The midfielder has the experience of playing in the Scottish league as he was on loan with Kilmarnock earlier. It’s being said that the midfielder would soon sign a new contract after the international break is over. Rafael Benitez seems to like the player as it was he who insisted the club to keep hold of him. League One outfit Portsmouth wanted to bring him on a season-long loan, but the Spanish manager blocked that move and wanted to keep Longstaff at the Tyneside.
Longstaff made his debut for the Magpies this season in the Carabao Cup tie against Nottingham Forest. However, Benitez’s men lost on the day. The midfielder is still awaiting his Premier league debut, but one can feel that he is quite close to making a first-team appearance.
Typically a central midfielder, Longstaff can play in a slightly more advanced position as well. He has earned a lot of praises at the youth level for the way he controls the tempo of the game, a talent which is often associated with senior players.
The midfielder often looks unfazed when he is on the ball, and his distribution skills are top notch. The Englishman often plays with his head up, and that is a kind of thing which is not often seen at the youth level. It allows him to spread out passes for his team-mates in good positions. To compare his playing style, we would say he is in the same mould as someone like Michael Carrick.
Celtic might have a decent number of options in midfield, but quite a few players seem to be out of favour at the moment. The Hoops wanted someone like John McGinn in the summer, but they failed to land their target. Instead, the club signed Youssouf Mulumbu for free who is more of a conservative and defensive midfielder. The Bhoys can still be after a proper ball playing midfielder, and this news of Longstaff signing a new contract would be a blow for the Hoops as they seemed keen on making a move for this talented midfield general. Now, Rodgers might have to look at other prospects to land in the January transfer window.