Newcastle United looking to agree new deal with 'incredible' 24-year-old – contract discussions under way
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The midfielder has started just three Premier League matches under Howe, but has frequently appeared off the bench.
And The Magpies head coach believes Longstaff has a long-term future at St James’s Park despite his current deal set to expire in the summer.
“[Contract] talks are continuing,” Howe confirmed. “He is certainly someone that I have a lot of respect for, a lot of time for.
"I think he has improved even though he hasn’t played and that hasn’t been shown to the general public, I think we’ve seen a real growth in his training performances.
"When he has played I think he’s done very well and he’s certainly someone we like and believe in and I see a long term future for him here, I just hope we can get the contract sorted.”
Longstaff’s lack of minutes has largely been down to the form of Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Willock and Joelinton as well as the £33.3million arrival of Bruno Guimaraes.
"You need strength in every department of the team and you know that with football being football, there will be opportunities for every player in the squad,” Howe added.
"Sean, when he gets his opportunity in the team, I think he’ll take it because of how he’s trained and his general attitude day-to-day has been first class.
"I think there is a lot of talent in there, he’s an incredible athlete, technically very good and he’s got an eye for goal as well. When you look at our midfield, it’s a very strong department of the team and those players are pushing each other to better performances.
"He will get his opportunity and then it’s down to him to take.”
Howe added: “He’s sees that he has been invested in by the coaches and by me. We’re really looking into his game and trying to take him to another level and there will come a time where he will want to play or need to play.
"At the moment, he’s in a good place and he’s supporting the lads in the team. You see the evidence with obviously the team being successful and he’s okay at the moment but obviously longer term [not playing] would be an issue.”