One of the highlights of last season was how 21-year-old Sean Longstaff made such an impact when he was given a chance in early December in the Newcastle first team.
Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame were injured, and Ki was off to play in the Asian Cup when Sean and Isaac Hayden were given their chance in central midfield.
Both did brilliantly, and while Isaac Hayden will be leaving us for family reasons in the summer, Sean wants to continue playing for his home town club.
There are still rumors that Manchester United are interested in the star Geordie, but Sean thankfully has no desire to leave his home town club.
His character and temperament are absolutely first class.
He picked up a knee injury in early March, so his first season in the Newcastle side was cut short.
But he is on the mend, and this is what he has said in the Chronicle today about Newcastle’s fixture list announced yesterday by the Premier League:
“It’s tough. “
“It doesn’t look as bad as last year’s [start] but I think in the Premier League every team has so much quality, so there is no real easy game.”
“There’s no game you look for and think: ‘Good, we’re playing them.’ It’s [just] not like that – it’s going to be tough.”
“We know the situation we’re in, in terms of the teams you play against, and the top teams have got so much money these days, but it’s exciting.”
“It’s a challenge.”
“Hopefully we can build on last year and see if we can pick up more points than we did then.”
Newcastle have a tough first nine games of the season when we play five top six clubs, and three of those fixtures are in the first five games.
But it’s a chance to get off to a good start if we can pick up enough points in those first nine games.
We don’t know if Rafa Benitez will still be the manager when we kickoff at home on Sunday 11 August against Arsenal.
And it’s notable the current manager did not issue any comments on the fixture list yesterday.