Longstaff last month signed a new two-year deal at St James’s Park. However, 20-year-old has been sidelined so far this season with a “niggling” thigh injury, and he’s still a few weeks away from a return.
“It was important that we didn’t lose our young players,” said head coach Bruce. “Unfortunately, Matty’s had a niggling thigh strain. So we hope he can get better.”
Longstaff – who broke into Bruce’s first-team squad last summer after impressing in pre-season – had been wanted by Udinese, and Bruce felt that the midfielder had had his “head turned” in the final months of his contract.
A meeting with Longstaff and his parents, according to Bruce, helped get the deal “over the line” ahead of the new season.
“Deep down, the boy never wanted to go,” said Bruce. “I think people turned his head, which happens with young players. No disrespect to Udinese, why would you want to go to Udinese? I think a conversation with his mam and dad, and him, got it over the line, which I’m delighted about.
"Now we need to fix his thigh, because he’s had a troubled six months. It’s important we get that cleared up.”
Longstaff’s last Premier League start came in January. He was used sparingly by Bruce in the second half of last season with his future in the balance.
Meanwhile, Newcastle take on Morecambe at the Globe Arena tomorrow in a third-round Carabao Cup tie.