The Chronicle have posted an interview conducted with Sean Longstaff from China.
This is the first we have heard from our exciting young midfielder since the departure of Rafa Benitez.
There were reports that the local lad was absolutely gutted that Benitez was no longer the manager. That news strengthened the belief of many that it was just a matter of time before he would end up at Manchester United.
However, the club set his valuation at £50m which has thus far tested Manchester United’s resolve in bringing Sean to Old Trafford.
Sean Longstaff– keen to impress Steve Bruce
The good news is we heard no public resistance to this move by Newcastle from Sean. We only heard that he wanted to speak to Manchester United but only if a fee could be agreed.
That was always followed with the caveat that he was fully committed to Newcastle United.
Sean has come out and spoken to Lee Ryder today and this is a bit of what he has said:
“I just keep my head down.
“I am just trying to get fit – that’s all I can focus on. I am still a Newcastle United player.
“I want to get back on the pitch as soon as I can. That is what I am looking forward to doing.
“I make more and more progress everyday, that’s all I look forward to. I can’t wait to get on the pitch and impress the new boss.
“If somebody had said to be me a year ago I would be in this position, I would probably have laughed at them.
“This time last year I was deciding whether to go to League One on loan. A year on, you are seeing your name linked with one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“For me, it is all a positive really. It gives you even more confidence. When I was in for a short amount of time people took notice of me. It is flattering but my job is at Newcastle.”
These comments are reminiscent of what Sean Longstaff said to NUFC TV in early June. At that time though, he also spoke of his dream to play a full season at St James Park.
That was before the news of Rafa Benitez leaving hit the players and fans like a ton of bricks.
This is what Sean told Lee Ryder about the news of Rafa leaving and his plans for the way forward:
“The new boss is coming in and it’s a clean slate for everybody – including me.
“I just get my head down and work on the pitch. Like anybody knows you are no use to anybody if you aren’t fit.”
“Nobody wanted to see Rafa Benitez go.
“But that’s what football is – it changes, all of the time.
“I would say everybody was sad to see Rafa go but the squad is excited now as a new manager is coming in.
“Rafa leaving is in the past. It has to be positive now from within and we must all look forward.
“This is a new challenge and it is up to us as players. New staff members are coming in so it is about everybody pulling in the right direction.
“We have to look forward to the new season with a freshness and an open mind. We need to be ready to go.
“It is for everybody. All of the players have a clean slate.
“It rejuvenates everybody knowing that they have to impress the new boss. The standard will go up a notch.
“It is something that everybody has to look forward to and relish. That’s the older lads and the younger ones. It is better that way. We are all looking forward to it.
“There’s no excuses now so to speak so everybody has to get their head down and get focused on what will happen in the future.”
These are excellent and quite reassuring words from the very mature twenty-one-year-old.
The motto coming from this club over the past two days has been to push forward.
Sean mentions that here and it seems to us that the squad is looking to crack on under the new head coach.
Our hope is that we can get at least six first-team players in this window and not lose any vital members of the squad.
This will be crucial for this club to push forward when they have been left so far behind.