According to The Telegraph, as cited by Leeds Live, Leeds United are among clubs interested in Matty Longstaff. The Newcastle United midfielder has emerged as the latest target for the Championship winners following their promotion to the Premier League. Longstaff is set to be available for just compensation fees, with his contract expiring this summer. However, Leeds United could face stiff competition from Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Atalanta.
Longstaff’s story at Newcastle
A product of the Newcastle United youth academy, Longstaff is regarded as one of the most talented players to come out of the said academy in recent years. While his brother, Sean, has endured a constant decline over the past 12 months, Matt has emerged as a first-team option for the Magpies.
Longstaff is yet to actually establish himself as a fully-fledged member of the Newcastle starting eleven, featuring in only 572 minutes of league football in the recently concluded campaign. But, he has impressed the onlookers with his imposing display in the holding midfield position and ability to win back possession for his side.
The presence of Isaac Hayden has played a key role in minimising Longstaff’s game-time. But, that could change should the midfielder depart St. James’ Park in the summer and with Nabil Bentaleb returning to Schalke, the youngster is more than guaranteed to receive a more prominent role in the first-team next season.
Where will Longstaff fit in at Leeds?
Longstaff could be the next piece of the jigsaw in the Leeds United midfield that has lacked a reliable alternative to star player Kalvin Phillips. The Englishman is the only proper option for Marcelo Bielsa in the holding midfield role, having been an ever-present figure in the Leeds lineup this past season.
The club’s lack of depth in that position was evident during the final phase of the campaign when Phillips got injured, and Bielsa was forced to deploy Ben White in that number six role. Pascal Struijk has also featured in that position, but his lack of experience at the highest level of football could be problematic in the Premier League.
That is where Longstaff could come into the fray. Being one of Newcastle’s emerging talents, the 20-year-old could certainly present himself as an interesting alternative to Phillips at the centre of the park next season. His presence in the side could also provide an incentive to Mateusz Klich to fight for his place in the starting lineup. Plus, with the midfielder’s contract expiring soon, Longstaff is indeed a viable target for the Whites this summer.
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