Sean Longstaff has been one of Newcastle’s best players over the last 9 games, and he has started every game.
He has never represented England at any level, but that could well change when the next squad for the England U21 side is selected for the two games coming up against Germany and Poland next month.
There’s a good article on Sean in the Mail today, and Rafa talks about the North Shield’s lad’s innate ability and skill.
Sean Longstaff in action at Wolves
Here’s some of what Rafa has said about his new young star:
“I think there are not too many English players with his quality.”
“He is also playing regularly in the Premier League. I think he will go to England.”
“No, he wouldn’t look out of place.”
“But the main thing, for me, is to keep him calm and keep him working as hard as he is now.”
“He has always had the potential. He was lucky because we had injuries, but we decided to keep him playing because he was doing so well.”
“I like to see my players going to the national team, but it has to be the right one.”
“I don’t care if it’s under-20, 21s or even the senior side, but I think he needs to go one step at a time.”
“One thing I can say about Sean is that he is humble, professional and focused. He is a player who can be consistent.”
“If we start talking too much about him and how well he is doing every week, then it is always a risk for young players.”
“I think he is fine. The steps are right and he is doing what he has to do.” ” I think he will go.”
“He just has to be sure that, when he does, he plays well and it will be another experience for him.”
“But I don’t think he will have any rush to go to the national team, it’s just one step at a time.”
Sean could be in the England squad for the upcoming U21 European Championships in Italy and San Marino in the second half of June.
When Sean got his chance in the Newcastle side in late December, he took it and has never looked back since then.