Sean Longstaff has to stay at Newcastle United and “scare people” with how good he can become, according to Toon legend Malcom Macdonald.
The 22-year-old midfielder has even heavily linked with a move away from St. James’ Park this summer, with Manchester United understood to be preparing a bid for this services, as reported by Sky Sports News.
But Macdonald insists that he must stay put.
Writing in a column for the Chronicle, he said: “If I could offer a piece of advice to Sean Longstaff it would be to stay at Newcastle United, and establish yourself at St James’ Park.
“He started to really impress people but what he has to do now is scare people with what he is capable of achieving – that is what I set out to do at Newcastle in my first season, scare people.
“That is what would Longstaff would be doing – going up a level. He can scare people by tearing apart opposition defences with his passing, and if he does that for the Magpies and does it convincingly, he will have heaven knows how many sides knocking at the door for him.”
Macdonald surely speaks for every single Newcastle fan here. Longstaff is a fantastic young player, and one who has the potential to be genuinely top class. At the moment, however, with just 12 senior appearances under his belt, he is by no means the finished article, and it makes a lot more sense for him to stay put and improve his game at his boyhood club than for him to move away and sit on the bench for Manchester United most weeks. His pass success rate of 80.9%, plus the fact that he was only dispossessed 0.7 times per match last season [Whoscored], shows that he has all the ingredients needed to be a wonderfully efficient midfielder dictator of play. The Toon Army may be in a pretty poor situation, but Old Trafford is hardly paradise at the moment either, and if he is going to jump out of the frying pan and end up in the fire, he might as well stay where he is. Give him another season, let him develop some more, then see how much he is worth. It will be a whole lot more than he is now, you can bet on that.