Rafa Benitez reacts Sean Longstaff and Callum Roberts' goalscoring exploits for Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez says Sean Longstaff and Callum Roberts have given Newcastle United's Academy a big lift.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 7:08 am
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 4:35 am
Callum Roberts.

Longstaff and Roberts, both 21, scored in last night's 4-2 FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Joselu and Ayoze Perez were also on target for Benitez's side, who will face Watford in the next round of the competition.

Longstaff has started the club's last three games, while Roberts was making only his second senior appearance for the club in the third-round replay.

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Asked about their contribution to the win, United manager Benitez said: "I think that we know them quite well, and it's really important to see some young players coming through.

"That means that Ben (Dawson, United's Under-23 coach) and all the staff in the Academy, they are doing a good job. It's not easy, because at the same time you have to invest.

"They are doing a good job, and to see both here ... I'm sure that the staff will be really pleased for them. Also, both players did well. It's not just the commitment that they had, they also played well.

"Longstaff is doing well every training session with us and Callum is fine, but in his position we have more bodies. What he has to do is keep going and try to do his best."

Meanwhile, Yohan Cabaye is available on a free transfer – but he's not a target for Newcastle.

The midfielder has left Al Nasr just six months after joining the United Arab Emirates club following his release from Crystal Palace.

And some United fans have called on Rafa Benitez to re-sign Cabaye.

Cabaye was an influential figure at Newcastle during his two and a half years at the club.

The 32-year-old was part of the team which finished fifth and qualified for the Europa League in 2011-12.

However, United manager Benitez is focused on strengthening elsewhere, despite his shortage of midfielders.

Benitez wants to sign a No 10, a winger and a left-back in this month's transfer window.