Alan Shearer has claimed that Sean Longstaff is back to his best after the Newcastle United midfielder impressed in the 1-0 win against Manchester United at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Matty Longstaff, Sean’s younger brother, grabbed all the headlines with a match-winning goal on his Premier League debut but the eldest of the midfield pair definitely deserves all the plaudits that have come his way after a superb display against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s underperformers.
Toon legend Shearer has admitted that there are comparisons to be drawn between Longstaff and ex-Manchester United star Michael Carrick, but he is just happy to see the 21-year-old back on top of his game after a tough start to the season.
“I think Newcastle are a better team with him in it,” Shearer said, as quoted by the Chronicle.
“Because of his energy and the legs he gives to the team, his ability to take and receive the ball.
“His passing ability is fantastic.
“There weren’t many than him (Carrick) at doing that.
“We haven’t the best of him in the early part of the season because of the niggling injuries he had.
“But I think there’s no doubt he was back to the best of what we saw last season (against Man United).”
Shearer is right about Longstaff’s passing ability. According to stats by WhoScored, the 21-year-old completed 91 per cent of his passes at the weekend and only his brother Matty completed more passes. Steve Bruce has a big decision to make over the coming weeks because the performances of the two Longstaff brothers were arguably the best performances by a midfield pairing for Newcastle this season. Isaac Hayden was stupid to get himself sent off at Leicester and he probably deserves to be dropped even though he has been one of the more reliable midfielders at St James’ Park this year. Ki Sung-yueng and Jonjo Shelvey are other options to play in the central roles, but have either of them shown anywhere near as much heart and quality as the Longstaff brothers did against Man United? Absolutely not. Newcastle play against Chelsea on October 19 after the international break is over. Fans would be very upset if they did not see Sean and Matty side-by-side for a second Premier League match in a row.