Midfielder admits to ‘considering’ Newcastle United departure before Eddie Howe helped him ‘fall back in love’ with the club
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Longstaff has signed a three-year deal and revealed that Eddie Howe was a major reason why he decided to extend his contract.
Speaking to NUFCTV, Longstaff admitted that he had considered leaving his boyhood club, before conversations with Howe convinced him to stay:
“It’s the only football club I’ve ever known for a long period of time. It’s so hard to contemplate even leaving that. At times, I did cross my mind but not as much this season, especially during the second-half of the season.
“My focus and my sights were set on re-signing here. The manager has made that decision ten-times easier. I probably had to convince him through performances and training every day that I do want to be here.
“I remember having conversations with him asking why I only had a year left. It was all a bit complicated but all I’ve wanted to do is play for this manager and football club.”
After bursting onto the scene during the last few months of Rafa Benitez’s time on Tyneside, Longstaff struggled to rediscover the form that led to speculation he was in-line for a big-money move to Manchester United.
Whilst Longstaff has been far from a regular under Howe, recent performances against Arsenal and Burnley have helped showcase his talents and remind supporters why there was such a hype surrounding him during the early part of his Magpies career.
The next challenge for the 24-year-old will be to establish himself as a first-team regular, but for now, he’s just happy to have rediscovered his love for football and for the club:
“I’ve loved every second of working under the new manager.” Longstaff said.
“It sounds a bit horrible but a bit beforehand, your head starts to get turned in every different direction when you’re in and out [of the team] and not really enjoying your football.
“The manager has come in and changed all that. He’s really made me fall back in love with Newcastle and playing football, which is the biggest thing for me.”