Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United this summer.
The Red Devils were reportedly keen to sign the 21-year-old midfielder who broke into the senior squad last season. However, Newcastle were reluctant to let go of their prized asset and slapped a massive £50m price-tag on his shoulders.
Eventually, United refrained from making a formal move but they are expected to keep track of his progress. Longstaff has admitted that the speculation surrounding his future during the summer was beyond his control, and revealed that he was “distracted by the outside noise”.
However, he is now fully focussed with the Magpies and is hoping to establish himself as a regular member of the side. The midfielder says that previously he used to focus on just getting into the squad but now he is looking to start more games for the club.
“Obviously there was speculation [about my future in the summer] and stuff that was out of my control, the outside noise you can’t really control,” he said in an interview with NUFC TV.
“In terms of being more established in the team, I’d like to think I am, but obviously there’s more work to be done in terms of where Isaac [Hayden and] Jonjo [Shelvey] are, and how successful they’ve been.
“The next step is to fully established myself. Looking back, it was about looking in on the squad and getting on the bench now and then.
“Now it’s week on week [in the starting line-up] and to hopefully start as many games as I can. I think I’m in a much stronger position now.”
Newcastle fans will love his honesty and the admission that he is mentally more strong now. Longstaff is an important player for the Magpies and Steve Bruce will be counting on him to deliver this season.