Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff has been labelled a local hero after scoring the winner in the 1-0 victory over Manchester United at St James’ Park.
Steve Bruce handed Longstaff his debut for the club against the Red Devils, with both Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey missing the clash through injury and suspension.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Nick Bright and his guests were discussing local heroes when the 19-year-old midfielder came up in conversation.
“Imagine being from such a passionate football city like Newcastle and then scoring on your debut against Manchester United,” the BBC broadcaster said.
Longstaff has received great praise for his performance in the game and has also been noticed by England under-21’s manager Aidy Boothroyd who is monitoring his progress [Daily Mail].
It is definitely too early to be referring to Longstaff as a local hero at this stage. Yes, he helped his cause by arriving on to the scene in the best way possible against Manchester United, but that is just the beginning of his journey. It couldn’t have gone any better for him in that game, with his first goal for the club coming in the middle of a near-perfect display in the heart of midfield alongside brother Sean. There is no doubting that Longstaff definitely has the chance to become a hero, but you must perform at a brilliant level for many years before receiving that accolade. Look at Alan Sherer for example, the definition of hero in the North East for his efforts at Newcastle. He had to become the Premier League’s highest ever goalscorer, and in return, he got his own statue and is worshipped by all Magpies’ fans. That will be the ambition for Longstaff, who will have grown up watching Shearer and will know what to do to be labelled a hero. It is important his feet stay on the ground, as he needs to continue his great form for Bruce for many seasons to come.