‘Longstaff linked with a move away from Newcastle United’. “Which one this time?” I hear you ask.
Since older brother Sean made his debut two years ago this month, in a 4-0 defeat at Anfield, the pair have made a total of 49 Premier League appearances between them. Steady numbers, but they are hardly part of the NUFC furniture just yet – even if they think that is the case.
In that time, both brothers have been involved in contract disputes, with young Matty running his down to the point of being a free agent in the summer, before having to come back to us with his tail between his legs when he could not find a suitor.
Sean has just appointed himself a new ‘super-agent’ in the past week, with The Mail reporting that this is to help wrangle himself a move away from St James’ Park. He has previously admitted that speculation linking him to Man United distracted him from performing in a black-and-white shirt. The same article by Craig Hope claims that Spurs are now thought to be his hopeful destination.
Why is it that at the earliest possible opportunity, both players have seemingly flirted with the possibility of leaving? The pair’s actions suggest they think they are better than us. I understand that neither of them have openly demanded a move away, but reading between the lines it seems pretty obvious to me what is going on here.
Matty’s situation, although I couldn’t get my head around it at the start of the year, is a lot more plausible. He is 20-years old and is in desperate need of game time. A spell on loan to a lower league club would do him a great deal of good, ironically, just as it did with his brother when he had a short stint at Blackpool before cracking the first-team.
Sean, however, is just outright starting to take the mick. Every young Geordie’s dream is to pull on the black-and-white stripes and represent Newcastle United. Imagine the lifestyle… turning in for training every day for and playing on a weekend for the club that we love. This appears, sadly, to not be quite good enough for him.
I am at the point now where if both players wish to leave for pastures new, then we should be the last ones to stand in their way. With 18 months left on his current deal, Sean should be sold as soon as possible if the rumours are true that he wants out. Cash in on him, and get in a player who wants to be here.
Truth be told, neither of them get in our best XI anyway, with Shelvey and Hayden are our preferred midfield duo. If Sean can’t even get into the Toon’s best lineup, then how on Earth does he expect to play for Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham, the Premier League’s current leaders?
Three transfer sagas in two years is not healthy for our club, and I refuse to give either of them a pass simply for being from the local area. If anything, I think they have been void from criticism and given the benefit of the doubt by our supporters for that exact reason.