Writing in The Athletic‘s match discussion during yesterday’s loss to Arsenal, Chris Waugh hinted that were some ‘promises’ made to Matty Longstaff while also suggesting Newcastle United should have allowed both him and Elliot Anderson to leave on loan in January.
Why didn’t Longstaff leave?
Despite the club extending the midfielder’s contract in September after he had initially left the club, he hasn’t been handed much in the way of starts.
Indeed, Football Insider claimed that Watford were keen to sign him on loan during the January window in a deal that would allow Hamza Choudhury to join The Magpies as Nathaniel Chalobah would have left Vicarage Road to replace him at Leicester City. However, dire boardroom relations between Newcastle and the Championship club are understood to have blocked the deal.
How about Anderson?
Anderson – who Steve Bruce praised following his debut away at Arsenal in January – is said to have had an offer from Luton Town – was blocked from leaving with The Athletic revealing at the time that the ‘indication’ was that he’d be in line for more game time at St. James’ Park.
Why haven’t they played?
Clearly, Newcastle’s precarious position won’t have helped.
Given how poor the run of form was prior to the draw with Tottenham Hotspur in April, throwing in two youngsters (albeit Longstaff has a touch more experience) may have been seen as a risk. Still, the fact Anderson has only played in 42 minutes of action for the first-team and Longstaff – who broke through promisingly last season – has only been handed 377 of Premier League action doesn’t exactly speak to much of a pathway into the starting XI for some of Newcastle’s highest-profile developing talents.
What did Waugh say?
“It has been a baffling season in terms of the younger Longstaff’s development and it is frustrating he has seen so little game-time, particularly after the promises that were made to him,” he wrote.
“A loan deal in January should have happened, just as it should have done for Anderson.”