Newcastle United's £50m-rated Sean Longstaff admits he was 'distracted' in a summer of links to Manchester United
Newcastle United’s £50million-rated midfielder Sean Longstaff admits he was ‘distracted’ this summer, amid links to Manchester United.
The Red Devils had a string of bids rejected for the player in the summer – the highest of which totalled £30million plus add ons.
And Longstaff, speaking to NUFC TV, says the possibility of a move did make his mind wander at times over the summer.
He said: “You can sometimes get distracted by the outside noise and, maybe for a little bit in the summer, I did. It's hard not to when you go anywhere and you see your face on the front of a newspaper or you turn the telly on and people are talking about you.
"It's not like they're talking about little things, they're talking about stuff that can change your life, really.
"But the expectation is half what I've done as well and it's probably a good thing. It just goes to show that I did impress people when I played last year.
"For me, it's about not listening to them and sticking to what I do."
Asked about the pressure of dealing with the expectation on his shoulders, Longstaff said: "I try to stay the same.
"The expectations come from people outside of the club, really.
"At the end of the day, as long as you're doing what they (the coaches) want and they're happy with you, that's how it's got to be.”
Longstaff made his top flight debut at Anfield last season is a 4-0 loss – he will return on Saturday with his stock having risen significantly.
Not significantly enough, it seems for his neighbours to recognise him, though.
He said: "He (neighbour) was reading the newspaper and big Joe was on the front and he stopped me and started speaking, and I could tell he didn't realise I'd played.
"He was talking about how good Joe was and how good the result was at Spurs. He turned the page and I was on it, and I had to stop myself from laughing, and then he was talking about me.
"I thought, 'I hope he's not going to batter me', but he said some nice things."