The youngster who has impressed in preseason so far is midfielder Sean Longstaff, and he played the whole game last Tuesday night at Hull City.
He had a good loan spell at Blackpool last season where he played 45 games and scored 9 goals and had 6 assists.
His scheduled loan move to Portsmouth has been delayed so that Rafa could have a closer look at the player and we expect Sean to be in the squad that travels to Portugal today to play two friendlies.
Sean Longstaff – in action against Hull
It’s going to be interesting to see what Rafa does with the 20-year-old local lad and whether he thinks he is ready to fight for his place next season at Newcastle.
This is what Rafa has said about Longstaff:
“I think he’s done well. He did well in the first game and physically he’s fine.”
“We don’t have 22 or 23 players that we can replace in a friendly.”
“At Hull, we had to give 60 minutes to some players but you can’t play all of them.”
“In this case, Sean has a good condition and he got to play 90 minutes and he played really well.”
“We want to give young players an opportunity.”
“I think because of the number of players we’ve had they (youngsters) have to be there.”
“You need numbers, experience, and quality.”
One of the things Rafa wants to do if he stays long-term at Newcastle is to bring the youngsters through to the first team.
He wants better quality youngsters brought in who can then be coached to bring out their full potential on Tyneside.
We have not been very good at that over the last eleven years but with Rafa in charge – anything is possible.