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Transfer news: Matty Longstaff a target for Wayne Rooney

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Wayne Rooney is keen to bring Matty Longstaff to Derby County after a frustrating season at Newcastle United, according to The Chronicle

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Despite signing a new contract before the start of the 2020/21 season after initially leaving the club, the younger of the Longstaff clan was handed only 377 minutes of Premier League action across five appearances. In fact, the 21-year-old did not make an appearance after his 78-minute outing away at Arsenal in January and has reportedly asked to leave the club.

Now, manager Steve Bruce will have to make a decision on whether or not to loan him out or offer him a chance to force his way into the first-team reckoning at St James’ Park.

Should Newcastle let Longstaff go?

While the club clearly didn’t act on the apparent assurances they gave Longstaff when signing his new contract in August 2020, they shouldn’t be in too much of a rush to let him go.

Again, perhaps that is unfair of the academy graduate if indeed he does want to leave but, frankly, Newcastle aren’t in much of a position to weaken their midfield. Indeed, while Joe Willock is thought to be a target, his reported £20m valuation could prove too much for the club this summer given they are said to be operating under financial constraint.

That’s not to compare Longstaff to Willock but, without the Arsenal loanee, Bruce isn’t blessed with options in the middle of the park. When Longstaff was given in a run in the side, he scored two goals in six starts during the 2019/20 season, proving to be Newcastle’s second-top goalscoring midfielder.

Clearly, those kind of numbers cannot compare to Willock’s output but the situation the club are in might mean they have to give what they’ve already got another chance.

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