Steve Bruce admits he knew nothing about Matty Longstaff when he first arrived at Newcastle – but has hinted that the youngster will make his debut at St James’ Park tonight.
The team are all set to take on Leicester City in the Carabao Cup later on, and, although several senior players look set to miss out with knocks, it looks set to be a huge occasion for the 19-year-old midfielder.
Bruce has praised the midfielder’s ‘enthusiasm’ and insists that he’s impressed him ‘enormously’ after training with the first-team over the past month.
As a result, Bruce has dropped a big hint that he’ll make his first competitive start for the senior side tonight:
“I didn’t know anything about him until four weeks ago, to be honest,”
“I saw this bright red face running around China – I thought it was going to burst! I thought, ‘is he alright?’ He’s the way I went when you’re red like that in the heat!
“The two of them absolutely have to have factor 50 on. He’s got bounds of enthusiasm. We’ve seen a little bit of him – scored that great goal against St Etienne when he came on.
“He’s impressed me enormously over the last four, five weeks. He’s been training with us all the time so I think it could be a good time to give him his debut.”
With his brother, Sean, and Isaac Hayden needing a rest after their monumental effort in Sunday’s superb 1-0 win at Spurs, this looks like the perfect chance to give him a run out.
It’s not yet known what formation Steve Bruce will opt for tonight – especially when we have up to 10 senior players set to be missing – but it looks like Matty will be playing alongside one of / or both Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yeung.
Good luck to the lad. Let’s hope he can following in the footsteps of his older brother – starting tonight!