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Rafa – Not Many English Players With This Humble Lad’s Quality

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.

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Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • Ben Afri

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #1

    Love the pragmatic approach Rafa takes when it comes to young, emerging talent. Two players who I always think about and wonder if their managers shortened their careers by overusing them at such a young age are Rooney and Owen.

  • geordietom

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #2

    Celtic give leicester permission to talk to Brendon Rodgers… PHEW…

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #3

    Ben Afri, good call. Although Rooney is still playing, he’s definitely not at the same level he was when he was in his teens and 20s, probably hasn’t been for a number of years.

    Lobby has been well managed (no surprise there) and is really just starting his career at 21. He could play into his mid-30s.

    We have a history of providing midfielders to England who score on debut – Rob Lee for one – would be great if Longstaff could emulate them.

  • geordietom

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #4

    rob …

    i read that comment to you by bladey me i just think your the peacemaker on here mate IMO…

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #5

    tom, in one ear, out the other mate. If someone I respected said that I’d be bothered.

  • martoon

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #6

    Longstaff seems level headed with a good family behind him but many a young player’s head has been turned when they discover girls & fast cars 😉

  • Ben Afri

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #7

    Very true, and another reason he could play well into his 30’s is that he relies way more on his natural footballing brain and calmness than his physicality which diminishes over time, unlike Rooney at the same age. I think about players who relied more on their smarts and perfect basic skills than their speed or strength and they all seem to last a lot longer than others. Bergkamp springs to mind

  • geordietom

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #8

    rob …

    know what you mean mate …

  • geordietom

    Feb 26, 2019 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #9

    ben afri …

    you hit the nail on the head with your comment #7 …

    i played football with a lad who player for newcastle his name is Phil Leaver very good player he discovered girls and drink after playing a couple of games in the league cup …
    he could of went on a made a good living out of the game instead he ended up working at wallsend sports centre …

  • geordietom

    Feb 26, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #10

    sorry that was for martoon #6

  • beefman13

    Feb 26, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #11

    We already know this kid is quality street, like to see the Korean lad in the middle with him, Big Mig n Rondon in front of them, jeez if we can get ourselves a flying winger from somewhere that would be grand, pace pace pace.

  • Ben Afri

    Feb 26, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #12

    geordietom #9

    That is such a shame. I would give anything to have had a shot at playing professional. I lacked that kind of coolness on the ball or the skill if I’m being honest. But I’ve always had determination, a quality lacking in so many wasted talents


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