Manchester United Opinion: Why the Red Devils should sign Sean Longstaff
According to a report from the Telegraph, Manchester United are expected to make a first formal approach to Newcastle United for midfielder Sean Longstaff this week.
The Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the 21-year-old Newcastle midfielder fits the mould as part of the club’s new recruitment drive to sign young, exciting and hungrier talents.
The Norwegian wants the club to seal the signing of Sean Longstaff quickly before his team fly for the pre-season tour of Australia, China, Singapore and Wales on July 8.
Last week, United completed the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who became their second signing of the summer following the arrival of Daniel James from Swansea.
They have now turned to negotiate a deal with Newcastle for the £25 million-rated Sean Longstaff, who impressed in midfield for the Magpies last term.
Solskjaer is overseeing a rebuild at Old Trafford following the Reds’ disastrous 2018/19 campaign that saw them finish sixth on the table. As a result, the club missed on Champions League football and has failed to attract top quality players this summer.
Nevertheless, the Norwegian tactician seems to have a clear policy this summer of going after young British talent, having already signed the likes of James and Wan-Bissaka.
Both James and Wan-Bissaka look top young British players with a big future at this level, even if Longstaff is yet to really establish himself as a regular for Newcastle.
The 21-year-old burst onto the scene last season and had been tipped to earn a first call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad. But his breakthrough campaign was cut short by injury in March. Before then, he had impressed with his energy, ball-winning abilities, creativity and eye for goal.
The Reds’ need for a midfielder with defensive qualities is obvious after the way Nemanja Matic and Fred both struggled in the holding role this past season. Scott McTominay can be used in that role but he is more of a central midfielder rather than a destroyer.
Creative midfielder Paul Pogba continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid, while the departure of Ander Herrera has left a hole in Solskjaer’s midfield ranks.
Longstaff seems ideal for United’s needs at the moment, with Matic ageing and isn’t mobile enough to thrive in Solskjaer’s quick, exciting style of play. The England Under-21 international would add the drive and industry too often missing from the United engine room in recent years.
His style of play resembles a certain former United midfielder turned the club’s current first-team coach, Michael Carrick, who interestingly has recommended Longstaff to Solskjaer.
It remains to be seen how much the departure of Rafael Benitez as Newcastle’s boss has a bearing on Longstaff’s immediate future, but United will look to potentially take advantage of the lack of clarity at St James’ Park in order to prise the 21-year-old from the St. James’ Park.
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Despite making a handful of appearances for the Magpies in his breakthrough campaign, Longstaff would be worth the gamble for Solskjaer’s side.