Newcastle United continue to drag their feet on what is probably the most important extension of the entire season: the extension of Matty Longstaff. I love both Longstaff brothers and believe that the future success of Newcastle United relies on having BOTH of them here, but the lack of receptivity to giving Matty a better deal is frustrating.
At the moment, Matty Longstaff is entertaining the idea of moving to Italy to sign with Serie A club Udinese. They’re not a bad outfit, but they’re not Newcastle United so I don’t ship them.
There have been reports that Matty Longstaff has been left out of the starting lineup for Newcastle due to his current contract situation. Most recently, Fabian Schar has been selected for midfield above Matty against Watford. But Bruce had this to say about that:
The rest is up to Matty, but it’s not necessarily true that I’m not picking him because of the contract situation. The quicker he makes his mind up, the better as far as I’m concerned.”
Read into it what you will, but it definitely sounds like Matty is being told to make up his mind, or not play at all, which will only make matters worse. Bruce also expressed concern that younger players are opting to move abroad rather than continue to play domestically. That’s not an entirely true statement and seems to be a dodgy answer to the question at hand.
Matty Longstaff deserves a better deal, which no doubt is probably sitting on a table waiting for him to sign it. The issue is that Udinese is offering a significantly better deal. I understand if Matty wants to go where the money is, I get that. If Newcastle United are not going to play him often, he isn’t worth the potentially 30k a week salary. I’ll admit, that’s a pretty high salary for a player that only recently proved his worth.
I peg Matty’s worth at around 15-18k a week and I would up it next season if he improves (which I have no doubt he will). But it’s up to Matty to make the decision as to where he wants to play his football. I’m not against Steve Bruce making other decisions while Matty takes the time making his.
Matty belongs at Newcastle United, it just makes sense. Udinese isn’t the same black and white as Newcastle United, and I don’t like a future where Matty is not a mainstay in the midfield. Also, letting Matty walk costs the club big time on a player worth millions of pounds. If the club were to want him back in the future, the price will be steep, whereas they can just make a smaller investment now to maintain him. It’s a tough situation where Udinese has clearly outbid the club for his services. We’re now just waiting for Matty to tell us where he wants to play.