When Sean Longstaff was coming through the ranks of Newcastle United, I can’t say that I was all in on what would be a successful player. I had doubts about whether or not he would thrive, purely going off of Newcastle United’s past history with their youth ranks.
The club’s academy has failed to produce quality talent over the past couple of decades, and other clubs are quickly surpassing Newcastle’s youth academy. That the club will soon be left behind in the dust in terms of youth talent and future ability is clear for all to see.
But the Longstaff brothers have been more than a breath of fresh air, they’ve breathed new life into a club that desperately needed it, as well as serving to Mike Ashley a solid reminder; that quality talent comes from good mentors, coaches, and an academy that provides young talent with the ability to thrive.
Newcastle United has not managed to do this. The Longstaff brothers are just an extremely talented duo of brothers that managed to breakthrough an academy that has failed to produce the kind of talent expected out of the North East.
While I wish I could say Mike Ashley has gotten the hint, it’s very clear that he hasn’t. He’ll take credit for bringing the Longstaff brothers to the big screen, but in reality that was all them, in spite of the odds being against them, merely by virtue of being in Newcastle’s academy.
Rafa Benitez even had this to say on his personal blog about Matty Longstaff’s goal, “I was also happy to see a few Geordies playing together at the same time; Carroll, Sean and Matty. Surely it shouldn’t be difficult to see the benefits of investing in the Academy?”
Sure, Sean Longstaff and Matty Longstaff may be talents that may come only once every ten years, but surely we can find more players that can provide the kind of production that can make Newcastle United a competitive football club.