Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff is on the radar of England’s under-21 staff.
The 19-year-old has been watched on numerous occasions by manager Aidy Boothroyd and his assistant Lee Carsley who witnessed the youngster score the winner in the Magpies’ 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
Longstaff was given his debut by Steve Bruce after Isaac Hayden started a three-game suspension, as well as Jonjo Shelvey picking up an injury in the past couple of weeks.
Boothroyd confirmed that the Magpies’ midfielder had caught his attention with his performances, but faces stiff competition from the likes of Phil Foden and Joe Willock to force his way into the side.
“We are certainly aware of him,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Last week was brilliant – it was great to see and great for football I thought. The whole crowd connected with it.”
“He’s up against some good players in Tom Davies, Joe Willock, Phil Foden and Oliver Skipp. There is some talent there – it’s a tough area to break into.”
Given his quick rise to the top this season, it comes as no surprise that Longstaff is receiving international recognition. Despite it being his Premier League debut against Manchester United, the 19-year-old didn’t look out of place and controlled the Red Devils’ midfield throughout as he helped his side pick up all three points. The competition for places is certainly there in the under-21’s squad, but should Longstaff continue to earn minutes in the Premier League, he would already be picking up more experience than the likes of Tom Davies and Oliver Skipp, who have both struggled for game time in their senior squads. The England management must not be tempted to continue to pick players just because they play for big clubs, with Longstaff earning much more valuable experience by being thrown into the deep end at the Magpies. Longstaff has all the attributes to become a successful box-to-box midfielder in the Premier League, and Boothroyd must not think twice about drafting him into the next international squad should he continue to impress under Bruce at Newcastle this season.
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