Man United Opinion: Sean Longstaff would be another exciting addition to the ranks at Old Trafford following Dan James’ arrival
According to the Daily Star, Man United are about to firm up their interest in Newcastle United starlet Sean Longstaff, with reports claiming that manager Ole Gunnar Solskajer is a big admirer of the highly-rated 21-year-old.
Solskajer is confident that Longstaff has what it takes to establish himself as a stalwart in the Premier League in the years to come and has set his sights on bringing him to Old Trafford as a part of his youthful squad overhaul this summer. (h/t Daily Star)
Newcastle, however, are seemingly ready to fight tooth and nail in a bid to hold on to their impressive academy product, with the Magpies slapping a daunting £25 million price tag on the central midfielder.
Daily Star suggests that Red Devils’ scouts have been monitoring Longstaff ever since Rafael Benitez handed him his Premier League debut back in December last year and they are impressed with whatever little they have seen of the talented youngster so far.
Man United have already completed the signing of highly sought-after Swansea City starlet and Welsh international winger Daniel James in the summer window, which can be seen as a strong statement of intent from the Red Devils.
United, under Solskjaer, are apparently ready to shift their focus towards bringing in talented youngsters with a view to grooming them for the future, and Longstaff could be yet another exciting addition to their ranks.
Although the 21-year-old is reportedly a lifelong Newcastle fan and has pledged his commitment to the Magpies amidst all the transfer speculations, it won’t be a bad idea for United to test Newcastle’s resolve with their financial muscle (h/tr Daily Star). And it is known to all that a club of United’s stature and heritage has the pulling power to attract any top-quality player from across the globe.
Longstaff enjoyed a wonderful breakthrough season at Tyneside in the previous campaign and he would probably have played a lot more for Newcastle, only for an injury to stall his metaphoric rise in English football.
However, his talent and potential haven’t gone unnoticed, and with Man United weighing up a move for the 21-year-old, a move to Old Trafford this summer certainly doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility.
Following his Premier League debut against Liverpool, Longstaff put up a solid display in the defeat against Chelsea and scored his first goal against Blackburn in the FA Cup before famously winning the penalty that led to Newcastle’s 2-1 victory over Man City towards the end of January.
The 21-year-old netted his maiden Premier League goal in the 2-0 victory over Burnley in February before an injury marked an end to his fairytale run.
Longstaff made only 13 appearances for Newcastle at the senior level in his debut season but he impressed one and all with his energetic displays in the middle of the park.
The youngster carved out a reputation for himself as a tough-tackling, all-action, hard-working and tenacious central midfielder, with his impressive range of passing, composure in possession, temperament, aggressiveness and high levels of commitment on the pitch earning him rave reviews from fans and pundits alike.
To put things into perspective, Man United need to bring in reinforcements in several departments in order to assemble a formidable unit ahead of the upcoming season, having finished a disappointing 6th in the Premier League last term.
While a new centre-back, right-back and a centre-forward continue to be high on Solskjaer’s recruitment list, United also need to focus on strengthening their central midfield options.
The departure of experienced players like Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini has left the club short of cover in central midfield, while the uncertainty over Paul Pogba’s future continues to be a burning issue at Old Trafford.
Nemanja Matic and Fred looked really pedestrian last season and Solskjaer cannot afford his midfielders to play at a testimonial pace if he is really serious about implementing his no-nonsense, easy-on-the-eye, quick passing aesthetic philosophy.
Longstaff, on the other hand, could add a lot of youthful exuberance and solidity to the central midfield, which in turn, would not only reduce the pressure on the backline but also allow the more creative players to express themselves.
United have promising youngsters like Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay as options in the middle but someone like Sean Longstaff would be an excellent signing as a part of the club’s long-term plans moving forward.
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Longstaff is certainly an immensely talented player with a mountain of potential and Man United could possibly have a gem on their hands if he goes on to fulfil his promise at Old Trafford. That said, the Red Devils should not hesitate to splash the cash on the 21-year-old and make him their second signing of the summer.
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