On the 8th of February, Football Insider revealed that Newcastle United blocked Matty Longstaff’s move to Watford because of strained relationships behind the scenes involving both clubs. Yesterday, they revealed what those problems were.
What’s the story?
They claim that top brass at St. James’ Park are still furious with the Pozzo family (who own both the Championship side and Udinese) for their role in trying to tempt Longstaff to the later outfit.
Indeed, over the course of the summer, the 20-year-old was linked with a move to Serie A after his contract expired on Tyneside, in a move that would have only seen the Magpies bank a small compensation fee, given he would have left the country.
Ultimately, their refusal to let Longstaff looks to have cost them Choudhury’s services as Watford, in return, blocked Nathaniel Chalobah’s exit to Leicester City, who would have been short had they let their young midfielder leave for Newcastle.
Well, perhaps Newcastle are a bigger club than the Italians but it’s not as if Longstaff is enjoying a hugely productive time of things on Tyneside. Despite some impressive performances against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, he has only been handed four Premier League starts all season.
So, potentially hindering his development just to spite another team doesn’t seem to be in the player’s best interests. Joe Willock has just come in and will surely start ahead of him given the impact he made on his debut, further limiting the minutes on offer between now and the end of the season.
Time will tell whether or not prioritising Willock over Choudhury was the right idea. However, Longstaff’s development seems to have been lost in all of this.