In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Steve Howey, who made 150 appearances for Newcastle United, has called on Steve Bruce to start Sean Longstaff on Sunday against Tottenham as Isaac Hayden’s replacement.
Hayden has been a mainstay in Bruce’s side having started 48 games in the Premier League, as well as constantly being a reliable and underrated part of Newcastle’s midfield receiving a 6.67 WhoScored rating.
When Hayden went off injured during Newcastle’s 3-0 defeat to Brighton before the international break, he was replaced by Jeff Hendrick who has been largely ineffective since he joined in the summer with fans not impressed with a number of his performances.
Asked who should replace Hayden in the Toon midfield, Howey told FFC:
“I’d probably say Sean Longstaff because I think he’s got a good range of passing, but I think both the Longstaffs will feel as though their noses have been well and truly pushed out.
“So they’re obviously not going to be happy with the current situation but if one of them does get a chance it’s a case of right, ‘I’ll show you’ and it’s up to them to prove to Bruce that he was wrong to leave them out.”
Longstaff has made just nine Premier League starts for the Magpies this term, with the last of those coming on January 12 against Sheffield United.
Hayden picked up an innocuous injury when Yves Bissouma fell into his leg while it was planted and as a result, he’ll miss the remainder of the season.
That injury news came just as Bruce was starting to see players such as Javier Manquillo, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson start to return from their injuries.