Portsmouth target Sean Longstaff opens up on an '˜unbelievable' opportunity '“ and his next steps at Newcastle

Sean Longstaff says he trusts Rafa Benitez to make the right decision on his future.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 6:00 am
Sean Longstaff.

Longstaff scored on his Newcastle United debut last week.

The midfielder – who spent last season on loan at Blackpool – netted in a 2-0 win over Dublin side St Patrick’s Athletic.

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Longstaff had been due to join Portsmouth on loan, but Newcastle have told the League One club that the 20-year-old will stay with Benitez’s first-team squad until early next month.

Benitez, short on numbers, will assess Longstaff in training before making a final decision.

Longstaff, for his part, is happy to be involved in the senior squad’s pre-season campaign.

“I’m a Newcastle player, and they make the calls,” said Longstaff, who could be involved in tomorrow night’s friendly against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.

Sean Longstaff.

“I’m waiting for them to tell me one thing or another thing, whether it’s to stay here and learn, or go out on loan and play more league games.

“If I can play 40 league games like last year, that can only be a positive thing.

“I’m taking everything in my stride. Whatever happens, happens.”

Longstaff was playing golf with his younger brother Matty – who this summer signed a professional deal at United – when he found out he was in Benitez’s squad for the club’s training camp in Spain.

“I didn’t know if I was going to go on loan straight away,” said Longstaff.

“I was playing golf with my brother, my granddad and my uncle.

“My agent just said ‘pack your bags’. I thought I was going on loan somewhere, but he said ‘you’re going to Ireland’.

“I’m just trying to impress every day, and we’ll see what happens.”

Longstaff is determined to make the most of his time with the first-team squad.

“It’s unbelievable,” said the Newcastle-born player.

“It’s my first pre-season (with the senior squad). I’ve been around the first team every day, training every day, and trying to show everyone what I’m about.

“I’m in a position where I’m just trying to come in and do as well as possible and see what happens.”

Longstaff is thankful for the experience he gained last season with Blackpool.

“I think I’ve improved massively,” said Longstaff, who scored eight goals for the League One club.

“I can only thank Gary Bowyer at Blackpool. He took a chance on me, and allowed me to play.

“I’ve gained experience and been able to play against different styles and different teams. Last year was really enjoyable, and it’s helped me as a player.

“Being out on loan, you go for the experience, the ups and downs and the good times and bad times.

“I had some good times last year, and I had some difficult times last year as well. It’s all good experience, and stuff that can only help me in my career.”