Former Premier League player and current TalkSport pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor has questioned whether Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff is good enough to be a long-term figure for Eddie Howe’s side.
As things stand, the Magpies find themselves in fifth place in the Premier League table with 44 points on the board from 25 games played.
With the summer transfer window approaching, one pundit has highlighted an area the Toon should look to strengthen and pinpointed one current player that may not be a long-term figure in the side.
Speaking to Football Insider, Agbonlahor had this to say about Longstaff and what Newcastle need to focus on during the upcoming summer transfer window.
He said: “Newcastle need another big midfielder in there. Longstaff has done so well, but he’s not the answer long-term if Newcastle want to get where they want to go.
“We’ve seen that when [Bruno] Guimaraes was suspended, they struggled. They’ve done really well with their recruitment so far, so I’m sure they’ve got their targets.
“They need that next midfielder in there, maybe even two. You’ve got to have competition for places if you want to be a Champions League club.”
This season has seen the 25-year-old feature in all of Newcastle’s 33 matches across all competitions, starting 29 of them, which shows how significant he is for Howe.
Despite that, his performances in the Premier League have earned him an overall season rating of 6.63/10 from WhoScored, making him one of the lowest-rated players in the squad that have started more than one game.
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In fact, Longstaff has the joint-highest average of times dribbled past per game (1.1) in the league alongside Kieran Trippier.
This could be why Agbonlahor may not see the midfielder as a suitable long-term option for the Toon if they want to improve as a team.
Moving forward, if the club does look to bring in a new midfielder this summer, the Englishman may find his spot in the starting XI at risk unless he can improve his performances and make sure he continues to have the faith Howe has in him.