Former Newcastle United star Lee Clark has described Matty Longstaff’s career development as being “great to see” after the young midfielder scored the winning goal against Manchester United in his Premier League debut.
Longstaff has seen his career hit an upward trajectory this season following the arrival of Steve Bruce, who handed the 19-year-old his first senior start during the Toon’s pre-season this summer.
A Newcastle fan calls for Sean and Matt Longstaff’s Mum to give birth to a starting eleven’s worth of Longstaffs in the video below…
His outing against Preston North End came days after appearing from the bench in Premier League Asia Trophy games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham, which saw the teenager play alongside his brother Sean for the first time in a senior game.
Bruce has since retained his faith in the younger of the Longstaff duo and awarded the Rotherham-born midfielder his competitive first-team debut against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup in August.
He then made his top-flight debut against the Red Devils, a week after a 5-0 thumping at the hands of the Foxes in the league.
Longstaff would repay that faith by scoring the winning goal in the 72nd-minute, and Clark feels the youngster’s career development and Newcastle’s response to being beaten by Leicester is “great to see”, as his outing against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men came as one of four local talents to be named in the squad.
Speaking with Tribal Football, the retired forward said:
“The win has just given the whole city a lift in terms of the result, the performance, the reaction to what’s happened at Leicester, and the fact it was involving four local lads, with the two Longstaff brothers, Andy Carroll and Paul Dummett.
“It’s great to see, and certainly the way the two Longstaffs performed and the story with young Matty on his debut getting the winner, it’s just given everyone a huge boost, without going overboard.
“The fact that we’ve beaten Man United, we’ve responded to the Leicester loss and the main characters in the story, even though the whole team deserves credit, are the two local lads.”
Newcastle have benefited greatly from their local talent of late, as United’s academy products have regularly proven themselves as being worthwhile options for head coach Bruce to consider.
Paul Dummett has held down duties at centre-half on six occasions this season and once at left-back, while Sean Longstaff has shown himself to be a superior option to former England international Jonjo Shelvey in some of his four outings to date.
He leads Shelvey for interceptions at 1 to 0.5, while his brother, Matty, achieved 2 in his Premier League debut, along with more shots than all of his positional rivals have averaged so far.
The Longstaff brothers’ presence in the dressing room will be key in Newcastle’s next generation coming to the fore and dislodging the established names in the senior fold, and can signal a new beginning at St. James’ Park.