Monday, June 27, 2022

Everton Receive Blow In Pursuit Of This Newcastle United Midfielder: What Should The Toffees Do?

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Pratyay Maitra
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Everton, down to 16th in the Premier League standings, have decided to part ways with Rafael Benitez following their shocking defeat against Norwich City. A rift with the manager led to Lucas Digne’s transfer to Aston Villa and the Toffees might now suffer another blow with Eddie Howe determined to keep hold of Sean Longstaff in the long run despite an offer from the Merseysiders.

Everton wanted to have the 24-year-old midfield star as part of the Digne deal. Benitez, who wanted a reunion with the Magpies academy graduate at Goodison Park, has now packed his bag for an untimely exit. Longstaff’s current deal is set to expire this summer, but he is likely to be offered improved terms based on Newcastle’s fate at the end of the current campaign.

“So, in terms of our current players that are out of contract, that may well have to wait until the end of January when we know we’re secure in what we’ve done. Sean has a long-term future at this football club.”

Howe told in a recent interview (via The Newcastle Chronicle) while discussing the midfielder’s future at St James’ Park.
Everton target Sean Longstaff playing for Newcastle United
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – JANUARY 15: Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United vies with Cucho Hernandez of Watford during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Watford at St. James Park on January 15, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).
A move, however, seems to have been jeopardized as Benitez is no longer in charge. The hunt for a new manager is on and the Spaniard’s recommendation might not be pursued anymore unless the board is fully convinced over a potential winter swoop. They have roped in Anwar El Ghazi on loan from Aston Villa for the rest of the season, but the crisis in the middle of the park would continue unless the Toffees strengthen themselves centrally before the window is slammed shut in a couple of weeks’ time.

Why Everton Require Reinforcement In The Centre Of The Pitch

Everton have bolstered themselves both in the defensive third or high up the pitch so far this term. Although they have quite a few options in the centre of the pitch, an injury to Tom Davies left them with Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin.
Allan and Doucoure, the preferred central midfield duo, have struggled to justify their potential, whereas the likes of Gomes, Delph and Gbamin have mostly been deployed sporadically after impressing little in limited gametime. They need freshness in midfield and an emerging prospect like Longstaff could have made an impact with his energetic movements, vision and distribution as he has done so far for the Toon army. Newcastle can’t afford to lose him now amid relegation scare and Everton, therefore, might have to shift their focus elsewhere to improve the current setup.
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