The national newspaper claims that negotiations with the 22-year-old’s representatives have stalled, with his people wanting to make him one of the club’s top earners.
This is an interesting strategy from Newcastle. Obviously you don’t generally want to hand a player two new contracts within only a year, but Longstaff’s representatives would likely point out that he is attracting interest from big Premier League clubs, and so the Magpies should pay up or give the youngster up. However, head coach Steve Bruce would probably then retort by saying that the player hasn’t actually performed very well this season, certainly not as well as he did in the last campaign. When you compare the statistics, that is very much the case. As per WhoScored.com, Longstaff averaged more shots and dribbles per game last term, while he was being dispossessed less often and had fewer unsuccessful touches of the ball. Plus, his WhoScored rating of 6.52 this season is way behind his tally of 6.86 from last time out. So Newcastle have a point in arguing that he needs to do more to earn himself a fresh deal. Is this tactic too risky, though? Only time will tell.