Sean Longstaff’s rise to become a first team starter is one of the great stories so far this season for Newcastle.
He has taken it all in his stride and when he’s played against Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and the two Manchester teams he hasn’t looked out of his depth one little bit.
Former Newcastle player and coach Lee Clark was the manager at Kilmarnock in January 2017, when Sean went on loan to the Scottish Premiership club for the rest of the season.
So Lee knows about Sean and his character and temperament.
Sean played 17 times with 3 goals for Kilmarnock during that loan spell and the next season he was on loan at Blackpool where he played 45 times with 9 goals and 6 assists.
Those loan spells really helped the lad, and he was impressive last summer in preseason training and immediately caught the eye.
Sean Longstaff and Rafa Benitez at Wembley – after Tottenham game
This is what Lee Clark has said to ChronicleLive today:
“Sean took the first game in his stride and like he’s done since he got into the first team at Newcastle, he just got stronger and stronger with each game.”
“Whatever we put forward to him in terms of different tactics, a different role in the team – sometimes playing in a two, sometimes playing in a three – he just drove forward with it.”
“His discipline and mentality was like a player who had a lot more experience than he had and was older than he was.”
“That has come to the fore since he got into the team at Newcastle as well.”
“He’s a midfield player who can also break lines, can break beyond your striker. He’s a very good finisher for a midfield player and can get you between five and 10 goals a season.”
“For all he’s doing very well, excellently, I know, and I’ve seen myself at a lower level, there’s more to come from him if asked and if needed”
“The potential of the lad is huge in what he can go on and do, but he’s done superbly so far.”
Sean has played 10 games for Newcastle this season with one goal and an assist, and hopefully, we can expect more goals from Longstaff as he continues to settle into the Newcastle side.
He seems the perfect player for Rafa Benitez to coach, and hopefully, he can become a great player at his hometown club.
It would not be a huge surprise if that eventually happens.