Manchester United were keen on Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff during the summer transfer window as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to lure him to Old Trafford.
The Magpies weren’t ready to let go of their prized possession, though, slapping £50 million on his head.
Nevertheless, the Red Devils will likely return next summer with another bid should Longstaff impress this season, and the youngster has admitted that the transfer links distracted him.
However, Matt Ritchie’s bit of advice proved crucial as they helped him to get over the distractions and make a decision.
“You can sometimes get distracted by the outside noise and maybe for a little bit in the summer I was a bit. It’s hard not to, whenever you go anywhere you see your face on the front of a newspaper and you turn the telly on people are talking about you,” the academy graduate told Newcastle’s official website.
“And it’s not like they’re talking about little things, they’re talking about things that can change your life really. The expectation is half what I’ve done and it’s probably a good thing. It does just go to show I did impress people when I got my chance last year.
“So for me it’s about not listening to them and sticking to what I do. I speak to Matt Ritchie a lot, he’s someone I lean on in the squad. He tends to keep us grounded and he’s always there with good bits of advice.”
Ritchie isn’t only influential on the pitch, but has proven to be a key figure inside the dressing room also, and it’s safe to say Longstaff has found a big brother in him.
The 21-year-old isn’t at 100% yet due to the knee injury that cut his season short in March, and he will now hope to follow up last term’s impressive campaign with another outstanding one.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is said to be keeping an eye on the Newcastle midfielder, and he could find himself on the plane to Euros 2020 should he prove himself and put in excellent shifts on a consistent basis this term.