Bruce drops Matty Longstaff hint & U-23 duo called up to the squad for Man City clash

Steve Bruce has hinted that Matty Longstaff could return to action at the Etihad stadium tonight, telling reporters he’s “ready” to play – despite him being yet to agree a new contract at the club.

The midfielder has not featured in the Premier League since January, with the signing of Nabil Bentaleb and ongoing speculation regarding his future at the club playing a part.

With us expected to make several enforced changes to the side that drew with West Ham on Sunday, heres’ what Bruce said when asked if we could see a rare appearance from the 20-year-old:

“Yes, I think he is ready, that’s for sure.

“He is a young lad and wants to play football.

“I genuinely think that in his own mind, there comes a time when he has to make up his mind.

“I have said many times the club has made him a wonderful offer. “In a football sense, it was myself who gave him his debut so I think he understands where we are with him.

“For me, it is a football decision but these days it is the player’s prerogative, the ball is entirely in Matty’s court over what he wants to do.”

Elsewhere, The Mail’s Craig Hope reports that academy graduates Tom Allan and Jack Young will be in the squad for tonight’s game.

Allan made his sole appearance against Rochdale back in January and set up Joelinton for his goal in our 4-1 rout, and is capable of playing on either flank.

Jack Young, 19, is a talented young midfielder who’s regarded as a bright prospect for the future, with both having been recently called up to train with the first-team on a regular basis since players returned from lockdown.

An appearance at the Etihad tonight would see him make his professional debut for the club, which would be some feat at the end of his first full season in our U-23 set up!

With the Premier League allowing five substitutes to be used in games since the restart, both youngsters have a solid chance of getting some game time for their boyhood club – the stuff of dreams!

Most people I know, including myself, would do anything they could just to play a single minute for the Toon in a friendly never mind the Premier League against the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Co, so best of luck to both if they get the opportunity tonight!

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