West Bromwich Albion failed to secure promotion back into the Premier League next season so it will now be up to Steve Bruce to put them in a better position to challenge again and now another transfer target has been linked with a move to The Hawthorns.
Football League World reported on Tuesday that West Brom were competing with Watford to secure the signature of Newcastle United’s Sean Longstaff who was initially out of contract at the end of the season.
The report suggested that his current club on Tyneside had offered him a new contract with the player facing many for next season with opportunities to gain extra game time.
However, with the midfielder now signing a new contract on Wednesday afternoon, it seems unlikely a deal will be forced through.
Should a move ever occur though, they could land a big upgrade.
Bruce is no stranger to Longstaff after managing him during his days at Newcastle United so will be more than knowledgeable on how to deploy him.
Although Longstaff’s game time has been limited in the Premier League this season, he still offers more on the pitch than Jake Livermore in the glimpses he has given for this current club.
According to SofaScore, has scored one goal and contributed one assist, was successful in the majority of his dribbles (55%) and made 2.3 tackles on average per game in 24 appearances.
The Magpies midfielder scored more goals, won more ground and aerial duels combined (50%), made more tackles and has a better pass accuracy (81%) on average per game in 13 fewer appearances than Livermore at West Brom this season.
The £23k-per-week ace who was hailed “immense” by Chronicle Live journalist Charlie Bennett, was chased in January by Everton but the bid was rejected ahead of contract talks with Newcastle after the negotiations broke down when Bruce was in charge almost two years ago.
Ultimately, if Bruce could secure the signing of Longstaff it would be a major coup for West Brom and add a fresh perspective in their midfield set up.