Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Phillips Urges Newcastle United To Sell This English Midfielder: Should Bruce Cash In On Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Sunderland player Kevin Phillips urged Newcastle United to sell Sean Longstaff this summer. Phillips said,

“Do I think Everton need him? Possibly not.

“Benitez is going down that route though, he’s already signed Andros Townsend and he had him at Newcastle.

“Longstaff hasn’t played loads of Premier League games but he does have that experience.

“From Newcastle’s point of view, he doesn’t play that often and it could be great business to move him on.

“It would free up a wage for Bruce to get someone with a bit more experience.

“I’m surprised Benitez is in for him but he obviously likes him and Longstaff played well under him.

“It’s a surprising one, I’m not sure Everton need him.”

Longstaff’s Inconsistent Form At St. James’ Park Last Season

Longstaff struggled to find consistency with his performances at the heart of the Magpies midfield last season. He featured in 27 matches for the Tyneside outfit in the previous campaign, picking up one assist and two yellow cards on all fronts.

The English talent struggled to play at a high level week in week out as he averaged 1.4 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 0.6 clearances, 0.7 shots and 0.5 key passes per game in Premier League football last season. However, Longstaff deserves credit for distributing possession accurately from midfield after he made 81.5% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Phillips urges Newcastle United to sell Sean Longstaff who is seen in the picture
Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Doncaster Rovers and Newcastle United at Keepmoat Stadium Where: Doncaster, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom When: 23 Jul 2021 Credit: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com/Cover Images **NOT AVAILABLE FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS** PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRA Copyright: xDanielxChesterton/phcimages.com/CoverxImagesx 41617968

Should The Magpies Cash In On Longstaff This Summer?

Longstaff is a tough-tackling midfielder who can hamper the opponent’s rhythm in the game at the centre of the park. He usually clears the danger when the opposition are looking to get in behind him and is a tidy passer of the ball.

However, the English midfield ace needs to be more creative in the final third if he wants to be a success story in top-flight football. Longstaff has got some valuable experience in the Premier League under his belt but is still not a guaranteed starter in Bruce’s first XI.

At the moment, the former Kilmarnock talent is surplus to requirements at the Tyneside club, so Bruce should think about letting him go before the transfer deadline on August 31st. Longstaff’s current deal at Newcastle expires at the end of this campaign, so the Magpies will be better of cashing in on him rather than risk losing him on a free transfer next summer. Having said that, Bruce should only consider selling him if he can get a proper replacement on board as Newcastle does not have too much depth in their midfield department.

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