Tuesday 21

Newcastle United

Benitez eager for Longstaff to stay grounded

26th February 2019, 07:26 by Alex Jack

Rafael Benitez claims Newcastle talent Sean Longstaff has a big future ahead of him and has urged the youngster to keep working.

The 21-year-old academy graduate has been one of the stars of a run which has seen the relegation-threatened Magpies collect 10 of the last 15 Premier League points they have contested after being thrown in at the deep end in the midst of an injury crisis.

Longstaff has started the last nine games and will hope to retain his place against Burnley on Tuesday night.

The form he has shown has led to speculation he will be handed an England Under-21s call-up next month.

When it was suggested he would not look out of place in that company, Benitez said: "I think he will go. But the main thing, for me, is to keep him calm and keep him working as hard as he is now.

"I like to see my players going to the national team but it has to be the right one. I don't care if it's Under-20, 21s, or even the senior side, but I think he needs to go one step at a time."

Longstaff's rise has been little short of meteoric, with Benitez trusting him enough to hand him starts against Chelsea, Tottenham and, most notably, Manchester City, who succumbed 2-1 at St James' Park on January 29.

However, the Spaniard is conscious the player has only just launched his senior career and still has much to learn.

Benitez said: "One thing I can say about Sean is that he is humble, professional and focused. He is a player who can be consistent.

"If we start talking too much about him and how well he is doing every week, then it is always a risk for young players.

"I think he is fine. The steps are right and he is doing what he has to do. I think there are not too many English players with his quality. I think he will go.

"He just has to be sure that, when he does, he plays well and it will be another experience for him. But I don't think he will have any rush to go to the national team, it's just one step at a time."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Alex Jack is a Yorkshireman with Scottish connections and well versed in a number of sports. A Leeds United supporter, who also enjoys both codes of rugby. Leeds Rhinos is where you can find him in the summer, while Alex is an avid supporter of Scottish rugby union.

More Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Willems confirms Magpies interest

20th May 2019, 09:46

Jetro Willems says Newcastle United are keen on signing him after revealing he wants to leave Eintracht Frankfurt.

Newcastle United

Striker deal off for Baggies

20th May 2019, 07:58

Dwight Gayle will return to Newcastle after West Bromwich Albion revealed they will not sign him on a permanent basis.

Newcastle United

Bentiz talks continue

18th May 2019, 08:46

Manager Rafael Benitez's talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley about the future at the club are to continue into the weekend.

Newcastle United

Spezia ace linked with St James' Park switch

17th May 2019, 14:09

Newcastle face serious competition for Salomon Rondon this summer and could turn their attention to Spezia striker David Okereke.

Newcastle United

Longstaff targeted but Magpies set to resist Reds

17th May 2019, 11:59

Newcastle have put a 'not for sale' notice up over Sean Longstaff after it was reported that Manchester United were interested in him.

Newcastle United

Benitez set for showdown talks

16th May 2019, 11:25

Manager Rafael Benitez is set to meet up with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley over the next 48 hours in a bid to decide on his future.

Recent Sport Headlines

Crystal Palace

Palace confirm Wickham extension

21st May 2019, 09:24

Connor Wickham has extended his stay at Crystal Palace until the summer of 2021.

Bayern Munich

City ace could join Bayern

21st May 2019, 09:23

Bayern Munich have a chance of signing Leroy Sane following reports Manchester City could sanction the deal.


Bhoys line up Mousset bid

21st May 2019, 09:21

Bournemouth forward Lys Mousset has reportedly emerged as a summer transfer target for Celtic.


Murray to miss singles at Wimbledon

21st May 2019, 09:06

Andy Murray says he is not expecting to be fit enough to play in the Wimbledon singles this year.


Everton target defender swoop

21st May 2019, 07:54

Everton are reported to be leading the race to sign Benfica's in-demand right-back Andre Almeida.


Dyche admits transfer concerns

21st May 2019, 07:22

Burnley boss Sean Dyche says he is bracing himself for another tough summer in the transfer market.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs ace linked with Italy

21st May 2019, 04:54

Tottenham could be ready to cash in on Kieran Trippier, who is wanted by Italian side Napoli, reports have claimed.

Manchester United

United defender bid rejected

21st May 2019, 04:37

Manchester United are reported to have failed with a £95million bid for Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly.