Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff admitted talk of Manchester United’s interest distracted him after the summer, and that showed in his early season performances, which were below par.
But prior to his sending off against Wolves, Longstaff was getting back to his best, and playing alongside his younger brother certainly helped him rediscover his form.
Without the added distraction of an open transfer window, Newcastle are keen to tie the local player down to a new, lucrative contract on Tyneside, and Longstaff needs to sign it as soon as possible.
That is good news for Newcastle, and Longstaff surely needs to realise that his best option for his immediate future lies right in front of him.
Newcastle gave him his big opportunity, and no one expected him to grasp it the way he has. He is now integral to the football club in the coming years, and any new deal offered is sure to reflect that.
Sean Longstaff is the future of Newcastle United
He is a future Magpies captain, and he has the chance to emulate Toon legend Alan Shearer, in leading his boyhood club for the majority of his career.
Shearer too was courted by Manchester United, and Longstaff should be looking to copy him in that department too, by following his lead, and spurning Old Trafford to ply his trade on the hallowed St James’ Park turf.
It is easy for any player to be tempted by the bright lights of Champions League football – although that looks a forlorn hope at Manchester United right now – or following in the footsteps of some of the game’s big names.
But he will likely have a bit-part role at other clubs, warming the bench as much as he is covering ground on the pitch.
Loyalty is becoming a lost trait in the sport we love, and Longstaff needs to buck that trend, and make sure he becomes the face of Newcastle United for years to come.
He will not get a better opportunity than he currently has at Newcastle, and that is why he should be eager to get his new contract signed, and get back to concentrating on playing football.