Aberdeen's high hopes for Newcastle United's Matty Longstaff after bright debut
After a long wait – and a long drive – Matty Longstaff is back on the pitch.
The Newcastle United midfielder made his debut for loan club Aberdeen yesterday after just two training sessions with his new team-mates.
A late strike from Christian Ramirez claimed a point for Stephen Glass’s side from a home game against Ross County at Pittodrie.
Longstaff – who hadn’t featured in Newcastle’s first three games, or the club’s final pre-season friendly – was “highly involved” in the game, according to the Press and Journal.
Fielded on the left side of the game, Longstaff had 52 touches and had a pass completion rate of 93.5%. Longstaff linked well with Calvin Ramsay, delivering a number of cross-field passes. He also had one shot on target.
Glass hopes to see the 21-year-old further up the field over the coming weeks once he gets up to speed.
The former Newcastle winger said: “Matty, we’d have liked higher up especially in the first half, but it is difficult coming into these games.”
Longstaff, surprisingly sidelined by United head coach Steve Bruce in the second half of last season, had wanted to go somewhere where he would play week in, week out after frustrating season on the fringes at St James’s Park.
“The biggest thing is coming somewhere you want to – and playing games,” said Longstaff, whose saw Thursday night's Europa Conference League defeat to FK Qarabag. “This seemed the perfect place for me.
“I was straight up on Thursday. It ended up being a six-and-a-half-hour drive, which wasn’t great, but at least I got here. I got to see the stadium rocking, the fans were unreal and I’m really happy to be here. It was unbelievable. Obviously it was the first time I’d seen the stadium, and the fans were great. Hopefully there’s more of it this season.
“The manager used to play for Newcastle, and I’ve heard great stuff about the club, and the football they play. He’s experienced Newcastle, knows what it’s like, and I’m really looking forward to working with him and his team.”
Longstaff spoke to United team-mate Ryan Fraser, an Aberdonian who started his career at Pittodrie, before joining the club.
“I spoke to Ryan Fraser, who obviously came through the set-up here, and he just said it was a great club and if you get the chance go and play there,” said Longstaff. I didn’t need much persuading other than that.
“What you want as a player is to be playing under pressure and to deal with it. At Newcastle there’s an expectancy to play at a high level. I’m expecting the exact same thing at Aberdeen.
“Whether that’s playing a little further back and getting on the ball, or whether it’s breaking into boxes and scoring goals, I’m happy to do either.
"Like he said, if I can chip in with a few goals, it’s going to be great, so I’m looking forward to it.”
If Newcastle fans know one thing about Longstaff, it’s that he’s got a goal or two in him.