An update has emerged regarding Everton’s reported interest in Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff.
What’s the talk?
According to The Athletic, Toffees manager Rafa Benitez is monitoring the 23-year-old’s situation at St James’ Park ahead of a potential swoop for the midfielder.
The report claims that the potential arrival of Joe Willock has thrown Longstaff’s future into doubt, with the Toffees now showing an interest in him.
Should Newcastle sell Longstaff?
If there is serious interest from Everton, or another club, then Newcastle should ruthlessly axe Longstaff and allow him to leave on a permanent basis. He has not kicked on enough in recent seasons and a loan move to a Premier League rival would not make sense for the Magpies.
Therefore, they should sanction a sale in the coming weeks should a respectable offer come in for his services. The prospective signing of Willock from Arsenal for £20m will only push him further down the pecking order, with Jeff Hendrick, Miguel Almiron, Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden all playing more minutes than him in the Premier League last season.
Also, his performances on the pitch when given the opportunity were not good enough to suggest that he deserves more playing time. He averaged a dreadful WhoScored rating of 6.36 in 22 appearances, including 15 starts, with zero goals and one assist to his name.
Last year, the midfielder bristled in reaction to criticism over his performances by saying: “At times, it’s probably been a bit surprising. It’s something you have to take in your stride and enjoy.
“I hold myself to those high standards, so I’ve got no problem with everyone else doing that as well. I’ve still got people around me helping me, trying to get me to where I want to be.
“I’m still enjoying it, and it’s just about staying at an even keel and I know that, ultimately, I’ll get to where I want to be.”
However, the statistics surrounding the £18k-per-week dud’s Premier League performances on the pitch suggest that such criticism is warranted. He hardly fared any better in the 2019/20 campaign either as he averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.37 – scoring once and setting up one goal in 23 games.
Therefore, it could be time for Newcastle to part ways with the Magpies academy product. With other players ahead of him in Steve Bruce’s thoughts, Willock coming in from Arsenal and his underperformance over the past two seasons, selling Longstaff now could be a shrewd transfer decision by the club.