The pre-season trip to Austria could be last chance saloon for Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff.
The local lad looks set to leave the Magpies this summer, having failed to kick on since he burst onto the scene in 2019. He scored the winner against Manchester United on his Premier League debut, but that’s as good as it’s got.
Longstaff won the hearts of Tyneside that afternoon, but it was a bit of a false dawn. Last season he went on loan to Aberdeen, but failed to impress in Scotland.
While Newcastle were flying high, he ended the campaign in the League Two playoff final with Mansfield.
Now he’s back on Tyneside, but there have been reports that he will leave the club this summer. The Chronicle stated he will leave this summer after being told to train with the reserves alongside Ciaran Clark, Dwight Gayle and Jeff Hendrick.
However, that claim appears to be wide of the mark.
Matty Longstaff heads to Austria
After reportedly being told to train with the Under-23s, Longstaff was then pictured alongside the first team on Friday.
He then featured in Saturday’s 5-1 friendly win against Gateshead that saw older brother Sean, Matt Ritchie and Joelinton find the net. Miguel Almiron also bagged a brace.
Now the 22-year-old has travelled to Austria, with Eddie Howe’s side set to take on 1860 Munich and Mainz.
Longstaff will hope to get some more minutes under his belt, and potentially save his Newcastle career. Some strong performances in Austria could re-open the door for a future at St James’ Park.
He’s got strong competition, with Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Willock, Elliot Anderson and his older brother Sean battling for a place in Howe’s squad.
It’s still very unlikely that there’s a way back for Matty Longstaff, but going on the trip to Austria at least means there’s a chance. It’s a slim one, but it’s better than nothing.