Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has hinted that 19-year-old midfielder Matty Longstaff could make his Premier League debut against Manchester United this weekend.
Longstaff, who did make an appearance in The Toon’s Carabao Cup KO to Leicester earlier in the season, has impressed Bruce since he arrived at the club, with him having nothing but good things to say about the youngster.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Bruce said this when asked if Matty had a chance of starting on Sunday:
“Yes. Matty has been in with a chance since I walked through the door.
“He comes into the equation for Sunday with the problems we’ve got.”
Newcastle are severely lacking options in midfield right now, with Ki-Sung-Yueng and Matty’s older brother Sean the only two senior midfielders in contention to start on Sunday, with Hayden suspended and Shelvey expected to only be fit enough for the bench.
Matty could add a different dynamic to the Magpie’s midfield on Sunday, with the youngster looking energetic and forward-thinking when he’s been given a chance by Bruce over pre-season or in the cup. Who could forget the 25-yard screamer he scored against Saint-Etienne?
Although Matty Longstaff will likely have to start the game from the substitutes bench, you can’t help but think that this is the stuff of dreams for a young Geordie lad, playing in the Premier League at St James’ Park against Manchester United.
It does say a lot about the state of the club right now that we are relying on two young brothers who hadn’t even had a sniff of the first-team this time last year, but it is in times like this where opportunities arise and are taken.
Here is hoping that Matty can take his chance, just as his older brother did at the turn of the year, and really have a positive impact on the Magpies season. We certainly need it.