Newcastle United are on the verge of a takeover, and it is expected that they would be able to bring in several top players of the world with the amount of money that they should now possess. However, it is also essential for the club to keep hold of their existing players and that probably has gotten them to make a new contract offer to Matty Longstaff.
The Telegraph has reported that Newcastle are willing to increase the wage of the youngster to £20,000 per week in the hope that he signs a new contract with the club. The club wants the player to refuse the offer made by Udinese to lure him away to Italy.
What does Longstaff offer at Newcastle?
The central midfielder graduated from the youth ranks of the club and made his debut for the Toon this season. The supporters mostly remember him for scoring the solitary goal of the match against Manchester United in his Premier League debut. The 72nd minute strike found the back of the net, giving Newcastle a memorable win. Many could be under the impression that he has made the Red Devils his favourite opponents as he again scored in the reverse fixture, although this time his team lost 4-1.
This season he has featured in seven matches in the league, playing 545 minutes in total. His two goals against Ole’s team are the only times when he has found the back of the net. So far he has completed 80% of the total passes that he has made, a figure quite impressive considering his age and the quality of the other players in the squad.
His being a homegrown talent should add as an incentive for the board to keep the player tied to the club for a long time as the supporters need local heroes. The other fact that he has been pretty decent for the Magpies in his limited opportunities should also motivate the manager to see him as a pretty long term prospect.
The loss that the club can face
We have no hesitation in saying that although Longstaff has proven himself to be a utility player in the team, he is yet to make really breakthrough with his performances. As a player operating in the centre of the pitch, he has to make substantial defensive contributions, which has not been the case.
If we talk about his attacking skills, we could mention here that the player has never scored any goals for his side playing in the U-23 and very few times playing for the U-18. He is not a natural goal scorer, nor has he proved to be a shield in front of the defence for his side. Longstaff is certainly not the player who could man the midfield of the Newcastle side for a long time to come, particularly if they are to have high ambitions.
However, in no way does that mean that the board should sit idly while some other club takes him away from under their noses. He should be given a new contract and allowed to develop before taking a final decision on him.
Stats from Whoscored.