The Insider: Seems Pompey target must stay at Newcastle for now

Sean Longstaff's eye-catching pre-season with Newcastle is threatening to scupper loan arrangements to join Pompey.

Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 5:15 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:03 pm
Sean Longstaff in action against Hull this pre-season

We spoke to the Chronicle's chief Newcastle United writer, Lee Ryder, who believes it is becoming ever-difficult for the temporary move to now happen'¦..

Sean Longstaff has done extremely well for somebody who initially wasn't expecting to be in contention for the first-team this season

Probably the expectation was he would go out on loan again and Portsmouth was certainly a move lined up and agreed in principle.

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Sean Longstaff in action against Hull this pre-season

But Newcastle haven't got time (to wrap up deals) for the targets  they were expecting, so that means Sean has to stay for now.

For Rafa Benitez, midfield is not a priority in his recruitment, he wants a striker, a left-back and maybe a number 10 position.

Longstaff will have a battle to get a first-team place, with Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame ahead of him and Isaac Hayden still around, even though he wants to leave.

The lad is in the mix with those three players, but close to the first team, and if he's still here once the deadline has gone I expect Premier League minutes in some form. He will definitely get chances in the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.

During pre-season, Longstaff played and scored at St Patrick's, one of only two players who featured for the full 90 minutes. When he played the entire match at Hull you realised there's a bit more to this.

He appeared as a substitute in Saturday's goalless draw at Porto, and we'll see what he does tomorrow night in Braga.

Longstaff is a very good player, has a good range of passing, can deliver short and long, while physically is in great nick and quite a big unit too.

He gets forward and scores goals, but is versatile. While coming through the ranks he was initially an attacking midfielder, then operated in front of the back four.

He was moved back up the pitch and enjoyed spells at Kilmarnock and Blackpool.

Longstaff will be in and around the Newcastle first-team, but could be playing for Portsmouth every week, which is probably what he needs.

But if someone like Rafa wants you in the squad, then that's what you do.