Matty Longstaff's situation assessed following Middlesbrough, West Brom and Norwich City links
Middlesbrough have been linked with a move for Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff – but what are the chances of him signing for the Teessiders?
We take a closer look at the player’s situation amid recent reports:
What’s Longstaff’s background?
Longstaff, 21, came through the academy at Newcastle along with his older brother Sean – who is two years older.
The midfielder marked a memorable Premier League debut by scoring the winning goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford in October that year, but, after breaking into the first team during the 2019/20 season, Longstaff made just five top-flight appearances last term.
What type of player is he?
Longstaff’s energy in midfield is a big asset as he often operates in a box-to-box role.
The 21-year-old is also a threat when allowed to shoot on the edge of the penalty area – as shown by that goal against United.
He also has the ability to switch play to the flanks with probing long passes.
What’s been said about him?
When asked about Longstaff’s absence and decision to move him back into the reserve team in May, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce said: "Matty at the moment is not in the side but let us not forget he has a huge big future, there is no question about that.
"He had a big rise last year and finds himself out the team at the minute.
"He has to stick with it, his time will come again that's for sure."
What are the chances Boro signing him?
According to our sister title The Shields Gazette, the plan is for Newcastle to send Longstaff out on loan this summer.
The 21-year-old was a target for Italian club Udinese before he signed a new contract at St James’ Park around this time last year.
If Boro do pursue a move for Longstaff, they will face competition, with Norwich and West Brom reportedly keeping tabs on the midfielder.
You also have to question if Boro need to sign another central midfielder, with Jonny Howson, Sam Morsy, George Saville, Lewis Wing and Paddy McNair providing options in the Teessiders’ engine room.
The priority for Neil Warnock is to sign at least two new strikers ahead of the 2021/22 season.