Jonjo Shelvey believes Manchester United are right to look at Newcastle United youngster Sean Longstaff – having been impressed with the midfielder’s breakthrough campaign.
Longstaff’s emergence was one of the highlights of Newcastle’s most recent campaign, with the 21-year-old having caught the eye in a string of fine performances.
And while his maiden first-team campaign may have been abruptly halted through injury, his form has attracted plenty of attention from around the top flight.
Manchester United have already been linked with a £25million move for Longstaff this summer, although the Magpies are naturally keen to retain his services ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Such interest came as no surprise to teammate Shelvey, who was left gushing with praise after the youngster’s breakthrough.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Shelvey said: “You have to take your hat off to him because since he’s been in the team he’s been really, really good and is rightly being linked with the top clubs.
“You don’t know what the future holds for him, but he’s along the right lines.”
Longstaff’s form saw Shelvey left out of Rafa Benitez’s side for long parts of the season, with the likes of Ki Sung-yeung and Isaac Hayden also getting the nod over the former Liverpool man.
But Shelvey was keen to have an impact on the side, and made sure he was on hand to offer Longstaff any advice necessary as he looked to make his mark on the Premier League.
And he has backed the youngster to come back ‘stronger’ from his injury blow, having revealed how the Newcastle squad are helping him through a testing time.
“I spoke to him quite a few times this year,” admitted the 27-year-old.
“He obviously got into the team and never looked back, really. He keeps things simple and keeps things ticking over. I think as a young player that’s all you need to do.
“I’ve spoken to him before games and told him just to find his feet. I think one of his first games was Chelsea away, and I spoke to him before the game and said ‘just find your feet in the first 10 or 15 minutes and when the game starts to open up and you feel more confident, do what you’ve got to do.’”
"I was out for three to four months myself this season and it's not nice,” he continued.
“You see everyone outside training and you just have to stay positive as much as you can.
"It's very, very hard, but luckily we've got a good group of lads in the changing room who will never ever put the injured players to one side. They'll always involve them in what's going on.
"When you're injured, you're not necessarily around everyone and the changing room at the same time.
"Luckily we've got a WhatsApp group and you're always involved in the banter and stuff like that. He'll be all right.
"These things do happen in football - you do get injuries, niggles and things like that.
“He's being looked after by some great medical staff here, and hopefully he'll come back next season stronger."