Steve Bruce is set to drop Sean Longstaff for Newcastle United’s trip to face Norwich City, according to the Times.
The 21-year-old started the Magpies’ opening game of the campaign against Arsenal – his first competitive match back in the squad after picking up a season-ending injury against West Ham last term.
But it is understood that Bruce will replace the highly-rated youngster with South Korean international Ki Sung-yueng, who voiced his displeasure at being omitted from the match day squad against the Gunners.
This is a bit of a controversial one from Bruce, and it has the potential to blow up in his face. Longstaff was poor against Arsenal, especially by his own usual high standards. His pass completion rate was just 69.2%, and aside from making three tackles, as per Whoscored, he contributed very little else. But, it is important to remember the context of his display. This was a first game back after a lengthy injury lay-off, and it was against a side who will probably challenge for a Champions League spot this season. Wielding the axe so readily seems harsh, and it would surely be a better idea to let Longstaff play his way out of his funk against a team like Norwich City. Moreover, if the Toon Army don’t win this one, Bruce will be giving the fanbase a massive stick to beat him with. This feels like a bad idea from the new boss.