Two-goal Newcastle United star told ‘he is good enough’ for England after Gareth Southgate snub

Sean Longstaff’s recent form for Newcastle United has sparked discussion around a first senior England call-up for the midfielder.
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The 25-year-old scored in recent wins over Sheffield United and Paris Saint-Germain and has been a key player at Newcastle under Eddie Howe.

But England boss Gareth Southgate opted to call-up regulars such as Jordan Henderson, Kalvin Phillips and Conor Gallagher instead. This is despite Henderson, 33, now playing for Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia, Phillips starting just four matches in all competitions since joining Manchester City last summer and Gallagher playing in a Chelsea side that has under-performed significantly over the past 12 months.

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But Magpies boss Howe believes Longstaff is good enough to be in the England squad in the future.

“I haven’t spoken with Sean in any great detail about the England squad or his dreams and aims but I’d encourage it for him because I think he is good enough,” Howe said. “I think he’s got everything depending on what system you want to play but for us, he perfectly fits the No. 8 role that we’re using him in.

“I’d love to see him score more goals and get in more goalscoring positions because I think he is a very good finisher - you saw the other night with a really good goal, so hopefully there’s more to come from him. But he’s certainly done very well at the start of this season.”

Longstaff’s energy and fitness in the midfield have earned him plenty of praise since coming back into the side. The £52million arrival of Sandro Tonali in the summer threatened to displace him in the starting line-up but the Geordie midfielder has continued to prove his worth to the side.

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And Howe believes Longstaff is among the fittest players in the Premier League

“He’d certainly be up there,” he added. “The game [against PSG] he covered every blade, he does that consistently.

“What I love about Sean is it’s not just one game and then he goes flat, hopefully not anyway! He’s been very consistent with his work ethic and the distances he hits.

“When you’re managing and picking a team, you need reliable players and he’s certainly that.”