Despite all the summer gossip, Sean Longstaff is still a Newcastle United player.

The midfielder was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, but the transfer window closed with £50 million-rated Longstaff still donning black and white.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

But after a summer of hype, Longstaff’s first appearance of the season didn’t quite live up to expectations.

The 21-year-old started Steve Bruce’s first Premier League game, but struggled to have a real impact on proceedings. He was strong in the tackle and broke play up well, but on the ball he could’ve been a lot better.

 

In the 67th minute he was replaced, as Newcastle completely lost their shape and failed to get back in the game.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Next up it’s Norwich City, in what is a huge game already for Bruce. And it’s also a big game for Longstaff.

There are already doubts about Bruce’s 3-5-2 formation, with a severe lack of width hindering our attack. To fix this, the manager could drop a centre midfielder for a wide man. Longstaff needs to make sure that’s not him.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

This is a key year for him. It’s his first full season as a Premier League player, and he needs to be a regular starter.

Longstaff needs to prove he can impact games and be the man Newcastle turn to for motivation. And that needs to start on Saturday at Carrow Road.

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