It is always dangerous to predict what will and won’t happen in a game of football, and we don’t want to tempt fate.
So we won’t say Sean Longstaff will not have an impact against Manchester United this weekend. But he faces a fight just to be involved.
It is over a year now since Manchester United tried to sign the Newcastle talent.
Longstaff was valued at £50 million by Newcastle, a price tag which The Telegraph reported ‘stunned’ the Red Devils, and interest sensibly went no further.
This figure was more than the initial outlay for Bruno Fernandes (£46 million), and higher than the total fee for Donny van de Beek (£39m rising to £44m).
Keeping Longstaff has not worked out particularly well for Newcastle, it should be said.
He had a difficult 2019/20 season in which he started only 14 Premier League games out of 38, with injuries playing their part.
Longstaff begins this season out of Newcastle’s best XI, having entered it battling for fitness.
While he has played in the Carabao Cup, he has a grand total of three minutes to his name in the Premier League from four games he could have played in. For one of those matches he did not even make the bench.
So it is not so much that Longstaff will not shine against United, but that manager Steve Bruce may not even give him the chance to, if this season so far is anything to go by.
And what about his brother?
Last season the bigger problem was Matty Longstaff, who scored the winner for Newcastle against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on a miserable October trip to the North East.
Well, there is good news where Manchester United are concerned over his situation.
Matty Longstaff is out with a thigh injury which has meant he has not played a single minute in any competition this season for Newcastle.
While Premier Injuries report there is a 25 per cent chance Matty Longstaff is available for selection this weekend, it is unlikely he would get into Steve Bruce’s line up.
Newcastle have a side capable of causing Manchester United problems. They went to Tottenham and earned a 1-1 draw at the end of September.
But if they do cause an upset at Old Trafford on Saturday night, it will probably not be one of the Longstaff brothers taking centre stage.
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