One story of the season is the emergence of local lad Sean Longstaff as a Newcastle central midfielder.
He’s played against Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool, and Man United recently and started in those first four games and looked good in each of them and certainly not out of place.
With Ki away at the Asian Cup and Shelvey and Diame injured the lad got his chance and has taken it in style.
Sean looks like a future star in Newcastle’s colors.
He’s got a great character and temperament and willing to work hard under Rafa Benitez to be the best player he can be.
Sean Longstaff with Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez
A year ago he was on loan at Bury, so what a year it’s been for the 21-year-old North Shields lad who started to impress in pre-season.
He is the son of former Great Britain ice hockey international and Whitley Warriors coach David Longstaff.
This is what he has said as reported in the Shields Gazette today:
“It’s been amazing,”
“I was looking from the outside in for a lot of the season, and from Boxing Day, it’s been amazing.”
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I think the other lads are pretty much fit now, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.”
“If I look back at the end of my career, I don’t want to just say ‘I played seven games for Newcastle’,”
“I want to have played at these stadiums every week with Newcastle. I want to play at the top grounds against the top players – that’s the way I am.”
“It’s great to get a start, but that’s all it is. “I can’t put it into words what this month has meant for me and my family.”
“For them to come round the country and watch me against the top teams has been great.”
“For me, it’s about keeping working hard. I’m just trying to do enough to stay in the manager’s thoughts.”
“When you’ve got top players like Jonjo, Mo, and Ki coming back, it’s going to be tough, but that’s all part of the game.”
“It’s good for me that I’ll be able to train against them every day. If there are more opportunities, that’ll be great. It’s great to have your top players back.”
It’s exciting for the fans to see Sean coming through the ranks.
With Shelvey, Ki and Diame fit again we’ll see if he keeps his place at Wolves next Monday night – we expect he will – on merit.
What do you think?