Lee Charnley must secure a January loan move for Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff amid claims several Championship clubs are keen to secure a deal.
According to the Chronicle, second-tier sides are lining up at Longstaff’s door eager to acquire the 20-year-old should the Toon decide to let him leave St. James’ Park this winter.
Injuries have thwarted the academy graduate’s bid to establish himself in Steve Bruce’s first-team fold this term, with a thigh issue keeping Longstaff on the sidelines until his season debut in the Magpies’ 2-0 loss at Southampton last month.
A 29-minute cameo outing at St. Mary’s has been Longstaff’s only taste of senior action thus far this term, but he returned to the bench for Newcastle’s last two Premier League matches.
United now face a decision over whether or not to allow the Rotherham-born prospect to leave on loan in the mid-season market with Nottingham Forest ready to rival Derby County for his signature.
As many as seven other Championship clubs are believed to be paying attention to Longstaff’s situation, too, just over a year on from the £4.5m-rated talent making his senior debut with a game-winning strike at home to Manchester United.
With Longstaff struggling to elbow his way back into Bruce’s plans, Charnley must open negotiations with one or more of the second-tier sides believed to be keen on securing a mid-season deal.
Longstaff has become the victim of unfulfilled promises at St. James’ Park since penning an £18,462-per-week contract in the summer, which he only agreed to after Bruce laid out a vision for the 20-year-old to progress his career on Tyneside.
Bruce again argued that Longstaff could add energy in midfield after his return from injury at the end of October, but Toon fans are yet to see the Magpies product feature frequently.
It’s a situation that only serves to hammer home Neil Warnock’s comments from the summer even more, when the Middlesbrough boss suggested Newcastle take Longstaff for granted amid his contract stand-off.
“Newcastle probably do take him for granted a little bit; most clubs do with the players that come through the system,” he told talkSPORT.
“He’ll be offered more money elsewhere, and Newcastle are pulling on his heartstrings a little bit because he must love it there. When you’re a Newcastle lad, what could be better than playing in front of those fans? They’re amazing.”
But Longstaff must overlook the potential of playing in front of the Toon fanbase and put his career first by leaving on loan this winter, as only then will he be given the freedom to develop on the pitch and not the training ground.
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