Matty Longstaff will be in a Newcastle United uniform this season. It is an end to a saga that left many Newcastle United fans furious, confused, and distraught. Why would you let the best young prospect you’ve had in years walk away on a free? And while they finally managed to agree to terms, I still don’t believe that this is the end of the ordeal.
The length of the contract is what throws me off, seeing as it is only a two-year deal. Most contracts, even if the club intends to sell, are signed on five-year terms. And seeing as Matty is a hot commodity, five years would have been preferrable to a paltry two. So why that long?
I’ve been attempting to make sense of the length of this deal, and the best that I can come up with is that the terms of the deal are intended to be renegotiated as soon as possible. The terms of the deal are not available.
Matty Longstaff was on ₤850 a week and was offered significantly more than that to join multiple clubs, among them being Udinese in Serie A for ₤30,000 a week. That sizable difference led many, including myself, to believe that Longstaff’s time at the club was ending.
There is no way that Newcastle United offered Longstaff anywhere near that number, Mike Ashley wouldn’t have it, and if you were to ask some, Longstaff isn’t currently at a ₤30,000 a week level. At his age, he still has room to grow and improve, and for a club like Newcastle, that kind of salary isn’t available to players at Longstaff’s age.
What is available to Longstaff is playing time, and a lot of it. Two years on a contract is like a relationship between two people who have no expectations that anything serious will come of it.
So why only two years? The expectation is that Longstaff proves himself worthy of a lucrative contract, as well as keeping him in the Premier League. Newcastle United may have budged on their salary offer for Matty a little bit, but I strongly believe playing time was the single largest factor. Worst case scenario is if at the end of this season Longstaff drops off, doesn’t play, or gets hurt, they can either offload him to a different club, or let him walk after his contract is up.
It is good to have Matty Longstaff back on contract with Newcastle United, but don’t expect this to last very long.