According to Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor, Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff “seems back to his best” under Eddie Howe.
Despite playing a background role in recent years, the 25-year-old has emerged as a pivotal player under the former Bournemouth head coach this season, as the Magpies continue on their march towards the top four and Champions League qualification for next term.
What has Taylor said about Longstaff?
Taylor has hailed the Newcastle-born workhorse’s rejuvenation under Howe this campaign, alongside team-mate Dan Burn.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he said:
“It’s just crazy. Dan Burn, as good as anyone. I think he’s unlucky not to have an England call-up. Sean Longstaff, seems to be back to his best. It’s really admirable what’s going on.”
How key has Longstaff been for Newcastle this season?
With just one goal and three assists to his name, the Toon midfielder has not been prolific in attack, whilst his average Sofascore rating of 6.74 in the Premier League ranks him just 14th in the Newcastle squad.
However, there’s a reason why manager Longstaff is such a trusted lieutenant of Howe and has featured in every single league match this season in a Magpies side performing so impressively in the Premier League.
Despite his modest numbers, the £20.5m-rated gem has been an integral part of Newcastle’s midfield engine, contributing defensively and helping to control the tempo of the game.
A lot of the hard work he does can go relatively unnoticed but it has been acknowledged by Howe who values his number 36’s work rate.
Howe said (via Chronicle Live):
“Sean’s been excellent. He does a lot of work, tireless work, for the team in every phase.
“We ask a lot of our midfield players, physically, and especially the wide ones.
“Sean has played that role on the right-hand side very intelligently and he’s physically very good, tireless with his energy and defensively very good, improving all aspects of his game.”
He has also been hailed as “a man reborn” and an “absolute machine” by Chronicle Live journalist Charlie Bennett.
The £28k-per-week man has also stepped up in big moments, scoring twice in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Southampton to send his side to their first final since 1999.
However, with Newcastle’s ambitious plans for big spending in upcoming transfer windows, Longstaff’s place in the starting lineup could be at risk as the club aims to build a more competitive and elite-level squad.
While he may not be grabbing the headlines with eye-catching stats, the North Shields-born dynamo’s contributions on the pitch should not be overlooked, and his role in Newcastle’s current form cannot be underestimated.
As the club continues its upward trajectory, only time will tell what the future holds for Longstaff at St. James’ Park.