The talkSPORT broadcaster raved about how the 21-year-old Magpies midfielder reminded him of Michael Carrick and shared he could imagine him partnering West Ham star Declan Rice in England’s midfield for the next 10 years.
“I saw him play a couple of times last season and the reason I was so impressed was because he reminded me of Michael Carrick, he plays the ball forward, at every opportunity, he’s got that vision, execution, at this rate of progression if he stays injury-free, hopefully, he will, then I think the sky’s the limit for him,” said Durham on talkSPORT (18:50, Tuesday, August 6th).
“I think an England place will be coming sooner rather than later and I’ve got this vision in my head that, y’know how good Declan Rice is at reading games, getting things going, getting into place, the two of them as double pivots in front of a defence, I think they could be amazing.
“I mean seriously amazing, both of them can pass the ball, both can read the game, the pair of them, Longstaff and Rice could be England’s midfield pivot for the next 10 years.”
With Durham believing all Longstaff needs to do is stay injury-free and keep progressing in order to earn a call from England boss Gareth Southgate, Magpies owner Mike Ashley is surely seeing pound signs as an international cap could see the player’s value skyrocket.
This is especially the case if Longstaff fulfils Durham’s complete prediction for him by establishing himself in England’s midfield alongside West Ham’s Rice for many years to come.
Longstaff, with no England caps to his name, previously attracted the attention of Manchester United with the Mirror claiming they were plotting a £30million bid for him.
However, Manchester United Evening News went on to report Man United abandoned their pursuit of Longstaff due to Newcastle valuing him at £50million, as it scared them off.
Yet when you consider that Rice, following making three appearances for England, had a £70million price tag slapped on him by West Ham that could rise to £100million+ in the coming years, according to Claret & Hugh, and with Durham believing Longstaff is capable of matching Rice’s levels by saying he could partner him for England, it shows how much the Magpies midfielder could soon be worth.
This is especially the case when you consider Man United were not only reportedly willing to invest £30million in Longstaff, without him having any senior England caps shortly, but that they were willing to spend that much on the basis of nine Premier League outings.
The 21-year-old only made nine appearances in England’s top-flight last season, scoring one goal while having a tackle success rate of 76%, due to his breakthrough season being cut short due to injury. (Source: Premier League)
Longstaff is bound to feature more in the coming campaign, helping build his reputation to see his value grow, and if he does so well that Durham looks right in hindsight then Magpies owner Ashley will be seeing pounds signs and will potentially consider cashing in.