In a season where supporting Newcastle United has been a series of suffering and anything but enjoyable, the recent emergence of local lad Sean Longstaff has been a rare moment of promise – in more ways than one.
Not only does he look the part, seeming like he’s capable both physically, technically and tactically, his progress gives us hope that we CAN bring local players up from the Academy and into the first team – with fellow Geordie Callum Roberts also starring (and scoring!) in Tuesday’s FA Cup win at Ewood Park.
He’s shown real maturity too. Not only has he been calm on the ball, picking out several smart passes and rarely giving it away, he has got about the pitch brilliantly, showing impressive levels of stamina – and rarely shirking a challenge when things get rough.
His running has been none stop, with him looking anything but the sort of luxury player Rafa would struggle to pick in his notoriously disciplined and organised sides; and that may be key as far as future chances in the first team are concerned.
His deflected goal from distance at Blackburn was pretty fortuitous, but it also showed his willingness to shoot on sight – and if his loan spell with Blackpool was anything to go by, strikes from distance are his speciality.
He has a long way to go, but it says a lot about his performances so far that I’d be more than happy to see him start today’s crucial six-pointer at home to Cardiff.
It’s been a great week for him, earning his first Premier League start and scoring his first senior goal for the club, but I have a feeling this is just the start of what could be a brilliant career for Longstaff – a player who’s recent displays suggest he has every chance of making it.