Top young talent Sean Longstaff looks set to be handed his big chance to impress by Rafa Benitez, with him in line to make his first appearance for in the senior side during tonight’s pre-season friendly with St Patrick’s Athletic.
The 20-year-old enjoyed an impressive loan spell with Blackpool last season – scoring 9, assisting 6 and firing in several impressive long range strikes throughout the season – and he’s been handed a chance to train with the first team since returning to Tyneside this summer as a result.
Tonight we take on St Patrick’s Athletic in our opening pre-season friendly of the summer and he’s expected to play, giving him a big chance to show Benitez that he can cut it at senior level after shining in the reserves and out on loan in League One.
Speaking to BBC Newcastle’s Matthew Raisbeck, here’s what he’s had to say ahead of the game:
“As a young lad, it’s what you dream of: being around the first team at Newcastle. I’m trying to take everything in… it’s been a pleasure being around the team, learning from them every day.”
“Any kid from Newcastle, that’s what they dream of, to play for the black-and-whites, whether that’s the Premier League or a friendly game. It’s about playing for the club you have grown up watching. To be able to fulfil that would be amazing.”
“Newcastle have the final say on what happens this year but if I end up going out on loan, playing 40 games again, that’s perfect, and only helps my development and I can say I’ve gained more experience.”
“I’m a centre midfielder and try to get around the pitch as much as possible. I love to get forward, trying to score & create goals. Frank Lampard is someone I model my game on; I watch clips of him & try to do the same thing. Last year, at Blackpool, it worked.”
I’m not going to start comparing him to Lampard already, but if you watch some of the goals he scored at Blackpool last season (see clip below), you can clearly see that he’s a player he’s been modelling his game on.
— Total:NUFC (@Total_NUFC) July 16, 2018
He’s tall, confident on the ball and has a real eye for goal, so I for one am really looking forward to seeing how he gets on tonight.
Another loan move away will be on the cards this summer, but impress over pre-season and he may just find Championship clubs knocking on the door for him in the coming weeks – something that would be ideal for him (and us) as he looks to step up the ladder towards the Newcastle United first-team.
It would be great to see home grown talent come good at Newcastle United and I’ve got a good feeling about Longstaff.
He’s a hard worker, a talented player and he also comes across as a very grounded lad – so he’s got as much chance as anyone.
? Today we caught up with young midfielder Sean Longstaff at United's training camp in Ireland. He hit nine goals during an excellent loan spell with @BlackpoolFC last season.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 13, 2018