Steve Bruce is set to usher in a shake-up of his Newcastle plans through the re-integration of Matty Longstaff.
According to Football Insider, the Newcastle tactician will bring the young midfielder back into the fold ahead of the Magpies’ trip to Aston Villa.
In the wake of a run-out with the under-23s on Monday, the 20-year-old could potentially return to first team plans for the first time since January 18 when the Magpies suffered defeat against Arsenal.
Having been frozen out of Bruce’s thinking after a festive run of appearances, a Newcastle source has told Football Insider that Longstaff’s inclusion in the youth team was with a view to building up fitness and sharpness ahead of an immediate return to the first team.
Previous reports had detailed rumblings of discontent from within the squad over the treatment by Bruce of both Matty his brother Sean, with the Longstaff brothers increasingly excluded from first-team plans.
There was reportedly also further anger at Darsley Park over the club’s failure to secure a loan move for Matty, 20, in the January transfer window following his prolonged absence from the first team.
Nothing but Newcastle’s View
With Newcastle engulfed in a relegation scrap, every asset must be leveraged if Newcastle are to have the best possible chances of staying in the Premier League under Steve Bruce.
With no significant avenues available outside of the January window to loan out Matty, getting both Matty and Sean Longstaff back into contention should be a behind-the-scenes priority.
In this sense at least, Bruce deserves a modicum of credit despite the issue he caused in the first place – he is recognising that Matty Longstaff could yet play a role in keeping his side afloat and has made a humbling change of tune.