Indeed, Longstaff is believed to be of interest to former Toon boss Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park and the idea of swapping him for Davies was reportedly discussed. Clearly, however, nothing came to fruition.
Would that have been a good idea?
Well, given Longstaff is expected to leave upon the expiration of his contract next summer anyway, yes.
While it would be a shame to see the academy graduate depart, watching him walk away for free in 2022 is much worse than potentially getting Davies – an experienced Premier League midfielder – in return.
How do Longstaff and Davies compare?
Using WhoScored data on their per-game statistics last season, the two look relatively similar.
Longstaff averaged more tackles over that period (1.4 to 1.2) while Davies produced far more interceptions (0.9 to 1.4). In an attacking sense, the Everton man averaged more dribbles (0.7 to 0.2) but Longstaff more key passes (0.5 to 0.2) and shots (0.7 to 0.3).
What has been said about Longstaff’s future?
Speaking to Football Insider in August, pundit Kevin Phillips urged the club to let Longstaff go.
“Everton seem to be going down that British and English route with players like Andros Townsend and Demerai Gray,” he said.
“He’s got that relationship with Benitez as well. If you’re Newcastle – why not let the kid go?“