There was fear among members of NUFC’s staff regarding Longstaff’s status going forward for the final four games of the Premier League campaign, putting the Champions League qualification in danger considering his importance in Howe’s weekly game plans.
Turns out Longstaff has dodged the worst possible injury bullet. The 25-year-old has not broken any bone in his foot, a specialist informed the player and the team after they visited said person on Tuesday.
That said, Longstaff is still “doubtful” to appear in Newcastle’s game against Leeds. The midfielder should make the trip and be part of the gameday squad, although it’s still unknown if he’ll be fit enough to get actual playing time.
Longstaff got injured following a tackle by James Tarkowksi in the Magpies' win over the Toffees in April, 4-1 on the road.
Any return to shape and Newcastle’s formation will bring normalcy to the Magpies midfield, enabling Joelinton to move to his preferred position on the left wing with Longstaff taking on a midfield position along with Bruno and Joe Willock, which Howe has opted to use for most of the season this year and a system that has brought NUFC to the third position they are currently occupying in the EPL table.
Longstaff has not scored many goals—three in 40 games—although his presence in the midfield has solidified the team and given him cohesion going up and down the field.
Even if Longstaff missed the trip to Leeds this weekend, he will still have three more matches on his horizon—and very important ones, in fact—against Brighton and Leicester City at St James’ Park, and a season finale against Chelsea in London at Stamford Bridge to cap the season.