Matty Longstaff has had a dream week at Newcastle United.
The 19-year-old has made his debut in the senior side, in a game against Manchester United where he scored his first-ever goal which gave the Magpies all three points in a 1-0 victory.
Longstaff dominated the Red Devils’ midfield throughout with his brother Sean, but the truth is, many could have done the same on that day. Their midfield consisted of the likes of Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira, two players who don’t exactly grab the headlines.
That is to take nothing away from Longstaff, who has already caught the attention of England’s under-21 manager, Aidy Boothroyd, who admitted he was on the radar of the national side according to the Daily Mail.
But, it takes much more than one game to establish yourself as a quality midfield player in the Premier League and he is surely set to face another big challenge next time out against Chelsea.
The Magpies’ youngster is likely to start once again, with Isaac Hayden still suspended, and Jonjo Shelvey still harbouring an injury on the sidelines.
Longstaff fully deserves that place in the side again, and Steve Bruce shouldn’t think twice about handing him that opportunity.
World Cup winner Ngolo Kante is set to hand Chelsea a massive injury boost ahead of the game against Newcastle [Football.London] and that will be a step up in competition for Longstaff.
The 28-year-old has already scored twice in his four appearances this season and has adapted his game to become a box-to-box midfielder who puts immense pressure on his opponents.
Kante has averaged 2.3 tackles and interceptions per game according to WhoScored, and Longstaff will not have as much time on the ball as he did against Manchester United last time out.
Longstaff is surely set for his first real test against Frank Lampard’s side and will need to be on top of his game to help disrupt their midfield which will most likely involve Kante.