Ever since his first Premier League start against Chelsea, Sean Longstaff has been a revelation.
With midfield woes mounting, the youngster was thrust into the action at Stamford Bridge. Since that game, he hasn’t looked back. Longstaff has started every game for the Magpies since then, and has impressed every time.
With many likening him to Michael Carrick, Longstaff has quickly shown he can handle Premier League football. Of his five Premier League appearances, four of them have been against top six sides. And he hasn’t looked out of place.
However, while the 21-year-old has done well, there have been no options on the bench to challenge him. That is set to change.
Longstaff under threat against Wolves
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The pair have been key players this season, and were Benitez’s go-to guys when the Magpies eventually got a string of results together.
In their absence, the manager has had to go with Longstaff and Isaac Hayden. Hayden’s form has been up and down, but he is a senior player who Benitez has been able to rely on in the past. As for Longstaff, he’s still massively inexperienced.
Benitez could very easily revert back to Diame and Ki on Monday. Or he could bring just one of them back into the fold. Or he could keep things the same.
For the first time in a while, he has a selection headache, and Benitez’s decision will tell us a lot about what he thinks about Longstaff.
He deserves to keep his place in the team. Hopefully Rafa sees it that way too.