Newcastle United youngster Sean Longstaff is enjoying his work under manager Rafael Benitez as the midfielder is ready to fight for his place in the senior squad.
The 20-year-old can play as both a defensive and attacking midfielder which can give the rookie a strong advantage to making his Premier League debut for the Magpies.
Longstaff, an academy product of Newcastle, has endured recent loan spells with Kilmarnock and Blackpool but has retained by Benitez to bolster first-team additions.
He has recently enjoyed working with Benitez, a Champions League winning boss, and has learnt a great deal from his manager who he thinks very highly of.
The midfielder said, as quoted by The Chronicle: “You just have to look at the teams he has managed and the trophies he’s won.
“You just think that there is nobody better to learn your trade from.
“He is probably one of the top managers in the world and he’s up there for a reason. So for me to be able to learn from him and speak to him each day is fantastic.
“I am able to pick his brains and he also gives me advice so I feel like I am in a pretty privileged position to be able to learn from him.”
With a lack of midfield signings made in the transfer window, Newcastle could be forced into giving the youngster an opportunity on the big stage. The midfielder has risen through the ranks of Newcastle’s academy and could be set to make his first Premier League appearance for the club against Tottenham. With a number of senior players ahead of him, it is likely that Longstaff will be chasing a spot on the substitute’s bench at first. Benitez has kept some of Longstaff’s former reserve team-mates in the senior squad, such as Callum Roberts, Jamie Sterry and Freddie Woodman, ahead of the Magpies’ opening league fixture and the batch of youngsters will be desperate to stake a claim for their places in the match day squad. Longstaff has had experience lower down the pecking order, with loan outings to Scottish side Kilmarnock and League One Blackpool. The Geordie scored nine times for the Seasiders last season and will be dreaming of making similar contributions for his boyhood club.