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Newcastle: Sean Longstaff was a lightweight in midfield

Newcastle United felt the full force of Manchester City’s wrath as the champions-elect ran out 5-0 winners in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Magpies have now lost their last two games – against Liverpool and City – by an aggregate score of 6-0, which is better than some teams have managed against those sides this season.

Eddie Howe’s men were second-best all over the park as Raheem Sterling (2), Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and Phil Foden got on the scoresheet.

The most preventable of the strikes came via a direct error from Martin Dubravka as the shot-stopper spilled Ilkay Gundogan’s effort and allowed Ruben Dias and Laporte to find the back of the net between them.

Whilst the Slovakian hardly covered himself in glory between the sticks, one player who let Howe down badly was central midfielder Sean Longstaff.

The £23k-per-week lightweight was handed an opportunity to come in and show that he deserves to be a regular starter. It was a chance to prove that he can compete at this level and follow Newcastle on the ride as they potentially aim to climb further up the Premier League table.

Should Longstaff be loaned out next season?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Instead, he struggled badly and looked out of his depth in the middle of the park. The mitigation is that Manchester City were outstanding and ran the show but Longstaff did not do anywhere near enough to cause them any issues or problems to deal with.

On the ball, he offered very little. Via SofaScore, he did not create any chances or complete any dribbles, whilst also being unsuccessful with three of his five long pass attempts. He did complete 18 of his 22 attempted passes in total but failed to accomplish much of note with them.

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Who cost Newcastle the most?

Out of possession, he was a passenger. As per SofaScore, he lost 75% (3/4) of his individual duels and did not make a single clearance, interception or block. He did make one tackle but was also dribbled past once, which means he had a 50% tackle success rate.

These statistics show that he made the game too easy for City’s midfielders as he did not get close enough to them throughout the match. Whereas, Bruno Guimaraes won six of his 11 duels and made a whopping five tackles, two interceptions and one block.

The Brazilian, at the very least, caused Pep Guardiola’s team some problems and attempted to disrupt the play. Longstaff, therefore, let Howe down as he failed to follow suit and was a lightweight throughout the 90 minutes for the Magpies.

AND in other news, Imagine him & Bruno: Howe must land NUFC swoop for £17.1m gem who “radiates calmness”…

Article title: Newcastle: Sean Longstaff was a lightweight in midfield

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