Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce is heading for a major Matty Longstaff transfer mistake as fresh news emerges about his situation at the club.
According to Football Insider, the 21-year-old will tell the Magpies that he wants to leave St James’ Park this summer, and a Newcastle source has told them that “Longstaff is frustrated at how he has been used by the club this season”.
The report adds that while the midfielder won’t put in an official transfer request, “he will ask United to move aside and let him go if an acceptable offer comes in this summer”.
After putting pen to paper on a new deal last summer, things have just gone downhill for Longstaff, playing just five games in the Premier League all season and not featuring at all since mid-January.
It has raised a few eyebrows, to put it mildly, not least from his Newcastle teammates.
In fact, The Athletic’s Chris Waugh revealed: “Steve Bruce, the head coach, has simply opted to exclude the academy graduate, much to the bemusement of team-mates and the player himself.
“There have been some suggestions that his naivety at Premier League level is part of the reason, yet that does not tally with the decision to field Longstaff against three of the very best sides in the division over the Christmas period.
“This season really needed to be one during which Longstaff was given opportunities. The club, Bruce and the player all recognised that. So, if those chances were not going to arrive on Tyneside, then surely a loan deal would have been in the player’s best interests.”
While things haven’t quite kicked on from that goal against Manchester United, there’s no questioning that fans would be furious at seeing one of the club’s brightest young talents in recent years heading out the door because of a lack of first-team opportunities.
It would be a damning statement on Bruce and his management of the club’s academy talents, and would drive another wedge between himself and the fans.
The Magpies were given a glimpse of this exact potential nightmare last year when Serie A side Udinese came in for him, and they managed to convince him that he could have a real future on Tyneside.
Instead, they’ve wasted an entire year of his career by failing to keep up their end of the bargain, and Bruce will need to take his fair share of the blame.