Less than a year after Sean Longstaff made his Newcastle United Premier League debut at Anfield against Liverpool, his brother could have done the same.
Matty Longstaff was named on the bench against the Reds in the 3-1 defeat after impressing when starting in the Carabao Cup defeat on penalties against Leicester City.
The young midfielder was given the chance to impress by Steve Bruce in the pre-season tour of China in the Premier League Asia Trophy, and must have grasped his chance, as the new manager decided to block any loan exit for the 19-year-old and give him the opportunity to force his way into the side.
Bruce confirmed after the game that Longstaff was set to follow in his brother’s footsteps and make his top-flight debut for the club in the second half.
It didn’t happen in the end, after an injury to Magpies’ enforcer Fabian Schar meant that his last substitution had to be used to cover the loss of the defender.
“If Schar hadn’t have been injured, he would have played,” Bruce confirmed on NUFC TV, as quoted by the Shields Gazette.
“He’ll be disappointed after hearing that, but he’s impressed me greatly, and it’ll not be long (before he makes his debut.”
The Newcastle teenager can class himself as hugely unlucky not to have made his debut against Liverpool, and will surely make his Premier League bow against Brighton and Hove Albion next time out.
To be given the trust by his manager to go on and try and make an impact against the Premier League table-toppers will have been a great confidence boost for Longstaff, who will now definitely know that he is on the verge of stepping out in a league game for the first time.
With Bruce’s admission surrounding the 19-year-old, he is surely set to feature against Brighton at St James’ Park, barring any more bad luck.