There were 29,786 people inside St James’ Park last night, but the most interesting attendee was Mike Ashley.
The Newcastle United owner witnessed firsthand Steve Bruce’s biggest win as boss, as the Magpies cruised to a 4-1 victory over Rochdale.
Ashley is in town for a transfer summit with Bruce, so Joelinton actually picked a bad time to score. The Sports Direct man will be thinking: “What’s the problem? The big money signing is a machine! New players aren’t needed.”
One player who should’ve caught the owner’s attention is Matty Longstaff, whose brilliant finish put the Magpies 2-0 up after 20 minutes.
It was another assured performance from the 19-year-old, who just seems to get better every time you watch him.
This was only against League One opposition, but he’s been strong in the Premier League too, performing well at Wolves last time out. He’s also got two goals against Manchester United.
But incredibly, we could lose the midfielder for nothing this summer. His contract at Newcastle is set to expire, with both AC and Inter Milan reportedly taking a look at him.
We need to tie Longstaff down to a big contract sooner rather than later. The longer we leave it, the less likely he is to sign. And losing him for nothing would be an absolute travesty.
From a financial perspective, Ashley must think the same. He must see the talent Longstaff has. He could be worth a lot of money in the future, if you want to look at it that way.
Longstaff picked the perfect time to impress at St James’ Park yet again, and hopefully his performance forces Ashley to put Lee Charnley under pressure to get a deal done.