Rob Lee has exclusively told Football FanCast that Sean Longstaff should forget about a potential move to Tottenham Hotspur and focus on enjoying his time with Newcastle United.
The former Magpies midfielder believes Longstaff has fallen from the heights supporters saw of the academy product following his graduation under Rafa Benitez in 2018, and must focus on regaining his form before even considering a route out of Tyneside.
Longstaff has been linked with a potential switch to Jose Mourinho’s Spurs by the Daily Mail after changing his agent to be represented by Pini Zahavi, who is said to have told those close to the 23-year-old that he can orchestrate a deal.
Zahavi is known as ‘Mr Fix It’ for his record of brokering deals for players, including current Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who rejected interest from Everton to ensure he would join Mourinho’s squad from Southampton in the summer.
Lee would urge Longstaff to be cautious over following Hojbjerg and Telles in allowing Zahavi to broker a deal, as the Toon talent would only be left on the bench at Tottenham.
“If you’ve got an agent like that, then sometimes maybe you get pushed into things, doing things that maybe you shouldn’t do. I don’t know who his agent was before. I don’t know why he left his agent, but it just seems, maybe you get carried away with who is Pini Zahavi and what players he’s got and how he’s moved them,” Lee told Football FanCast.
“It doesn’t always work for me. Yeah, he’s played 30-odd games, done well, [but] hasn’t hit the heights he hit when he first come in this year, maybe that’s because the teams not playing well. He’s had a couple of little knocks and I just think you have to sometimes forget about all that and just get on and enjoy playing football.
“It seems that kids have so much more on their mind now about moving and cars and houses and just enjoy playing football. It goes so quick. I tell my sons to enjoy it at whatever level you’re playing because it goes so quick. And you want to be playing regardless.
“There’s no point him going to Spurs or Man United and not playing, what’s the point? The idea you become a footballer is to play football, you enjoy football, you want to play football and for me, once he’s played 100 games and he’s played at a great level and scored goals and knocked on the England door, then if you want to move and you feel Newcastle isn’t the place for you then do it then.”
Longstaff has been linked with a switch to north London before after Spurs scouted the 23-year-old amid their search for depth in the engine room, with young up-and-comers seen as their best bet to solve an area that had needed attention for a few years.
Whether they decide to pursue a deal in the New Year remains to be seen, while Longstaff – who Manchester United were quoted £50million for last year – is believed to be keen on staying at St. James’ Park where discussions over a new contract are expected to begin soon.