Former Newcastle United midfielder Lee Clark has heaped praise on Magpies starlet Sean Longstaff and says the club’s fans ‘should be excited’ about him.
The 21-year-old made his first team breakthrough for Rafael Benitez’s side this season, making a big impression before going down with a season-ending injury.
Clark, though, was very impressed: “One of those young players that Newcastle fans should be excited about is Sean Longstaff,” he wrote in his Tribal Football column. “I know Sean very well, I gave him his debut in league football when I was manager at Kilmarnock and I’m close with his family, especially his father, who I grew up with.
“I know him well and I know there’s a lot more to come. He’s been outstanding in his breakthrough season but for me, and I keep telling all the Newcastle fans this, there’s more to come from Sean Longstaff. He can be a midfield player that can go out and get 10 goals a season. I believe he is only going to get better and stronger.”
Clark is absolutely bang on the money here. Longstaff is the most exciting prospect to come through the Newcastle academy for some time and is very much someone who is going to go on and get better and better. This was a massive season for him as, after waiting patiently, he finally made his breakthrough in the first team and took his opportunity with both hands. As Clark says, he was outstanding. Clark obviously knows the player well and helped develop him during his loan spell with Killie – he even knows his dad! So while he clearly has emotional ties to the Englishman, that doesn’t take away from the truth of what he’s saying here. The big thing for Longstaff next term will be to kick on and put his stamp on this Newcastle team even more. As Clark says, he can be a 10 goal-a-season type of midfielder. He’s shown that goalscoring potential in some of his loan spells – now he needs to do it for the Magpies in the big time.