Why Celtic must go all out to sign Sean Longstaff from Newcastle
The 20-year-old midfielder is a product of the Newcastle United academy and has risen through the youth ranks rapidly, breaking into the U23s setup back in 2015/16. During that time, he went on to make 19 appearances in the Premier League 2, scoring two and setting up one more.
He impressed further in his second term, scoring six times in just 11 appearances, following which he was loaned out to Scottish outfit Kilmarnock for the second half of the 2016/17 season. During his six-month stint in Scotland, Longstaff went on to make 16 appearances in the Premiership, scoring thrice in the process.
The youngster’s development continued at a rapid rate last season on loan at League One outfit Blackpool. During his time in the English third-tier, the midfielder featured 45 times across all competitions, bagging nine goals and assisting six more.
Longstaff was involved with the Magpies during pre-season this summer and made it to the bench for the club’s Premier League encounter against Chelsea. He made his first-team debut three days later in the League Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest. He was also part of the matchday squad for the Tynesiders’ next league game against Manchester City as well. However, he is yet to make his debut in the English top-flight. The 20-year-old has featured thrice for the reserves this term though, assisting twice.
Held in high regard within the club, the 20-year-old is a central midfielder by trade. But he has also done well as a No.10 in his budding career. As can be seen from his numbers in the past couple of seasons, Longstaff has the ability to impact the play in the final third by scoring and creating goals in equal measure.
Celtic have a number of talented midfielders in their ranks, with Olivier Ntcham coming into his own this season along with the ever-present Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic. However, Ntcham attracted a lot of interest from abroad in the summer (h/t The Scottish Sun) and more clubs are sure to come in for him either in January or the next summer. Hence, signing Longstaff would come in handy for Brendan Rodgers’ men in the long run.
Given that the 20-year-old has less than twelve months left on his current contract with Newcastle, clubs outside England can land him for a bargain £300,000 fee. Meanwhile, sides in the country would have to sign him for a compensation fee set by a tribunal (h/t Chronicle Live).
Technically sound, Longstaff possesses the creativity and vision to cause problems in the attacking third of the field. And considering his natural goal-scoring instincts, Longstaff has shown plenty of promise and potential in his young career. And with Celtic being able to sign him for a minimal fee of £300,000, making a summer move for him seems like a no-brainer, irrespective of whether Ntcham stays or leaves.