By 90Min
June 27, 2019

Daniel James. Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Sean Longstaff?

Yes, it seems as if Ole Gunnar Solskjær can't get enough of the Newcastle midfielder, who may very well become the Red Devils' third signing of the summer (assuming there aren't any major cock-ups with AWB's impending arrival). 

So, given all the attention surrounding the Englishman, I thought it would behove you, the Man Utd faithful, to learn a little bit more about the 21-year-old and what he could bring to Old Trafford - from the perspective of a Toon fan.


He's a Born Leader

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Longstaff had a breakout season in the league last year, and he only played nine games. How is this possible? 

For one, his introduction to the Newcastle midfield came at a time when the Magpies were, as is tradition, fighting a battle against relegation. He had a 17-minute cameo against Liverpool for his first taste of Premier League action (where we got smacked 4-0), and then got the start in a 2-1 loss against Chelsea a couple of weeks later.

But it was the next seven matches where Longstaff demonstrated that he had the cojones to whip a broken Newcastle squad into shape. Playing with a controlled ferocity and commanding presence, Longstaff's composure, passing and tackling (more on this later) created a sense of calm throughout the Magpies midfield, and it was his effort in the incredible 2-1 win against Man City - where he won the decisive penalty to put the Toon ahead - that had fans losing their collective minds.

Here is a 'man' (he is only 21 after all) who was born to wear the Newcastle armband. Ready to give his all for the shirt, and get stuck into teammates who aren't doing the same. You don't find his type all that often.


You Like Passing? He's Got Passing

Sure, nine games is a small sample size - but we saw enough of Longstaff's skill at finding his teammates last season to know that he can become an exceptional passer from a deep playmaker position in the midfield.


He banged out an average of 32.6 passes per game, achieving an 80.9% success rate - including one assist. 


He's Not Afraid of Getting Stuck in

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Longstaff's work rate is off the charts, as evidenced by his hounding of Fernandinho in the aforementioned victory over Manchester City, which led to the penalty. 

He's also an excellent tackler, capable of winning the ball cleanly whilst also sending a message to both opponents and teammates. That message? Don't f*#k with me.

Tackle Success Rate 76%
Interceptions 10
Recoveries 46
Duels Won 38
Blocked Shots 3

Remember, the above is only for nine games, but he had a higher successful challenge rate (64%) and only eight fewer interceptions than Paul Pogba last season. Food for thought.


Did I Mention He's Only 21?

At such a young age, Lonstaff has already shown that he's not afraid of playing  - and leading - on the big stage. 

His heart and desire can't be questioned, his endurance is outstanding (the guy is like N'Golo Kante, he never stops running) and his passing and tackling, whilst still raw and in need of refinement, can help him become a future England international and one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League - that's not an exaggeration. 

If United do buy him, they will have an outstanding young player on their hands, who if they mould and coach properly, can become one of the greats for the Red Devils. It pains me to write that, seeing that he's a boyhood Newcastle fan who worked his way up through the academy, but with the current situation at St James' Park, he deserves better.

If you love someone, set them free. 

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