Premier League

Newcastle United

Multi-talented Longstaff aiming to dazzle Benitez

By Nick Mashiter, | 15d
Longstaff penned a new four-year deal at St James' Park last month.

Newcastle's Sean Longstaff is aiming to bowl boss Rafa Benitez over after signing his new four-year deal.

The midfielder – and keen cricketer – committed his future to St James' Park until 2022 in December and made his Premier League debut on Boxing Day.

He came off the bench in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool and started Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Blackburn.

And Longstaff, who was on loan at Blackpool last season, feels boss Benitez is crucial to his development.

He told Press Association Sport: "It's a massive step to go from League One to the Premier League. You basically have to go be an international footballer and if you're not you need to be the highest quality. The level is ridiculous.

"I'm trying to learn from the manager and he's helping me bridge the gap.

"He is one of the top managers in the world so for him to see I've got a little bit of ability and he likes enough to give me a new deal is great for my confidence.

"He's managed some of the biggest clubs in the world and the trophies he's won back that up.

"For the first six months of the season it's been the best place for me to be, learning from the players and the manager. I've improved so much.

"I'll speak to Newcastle and see what the plan for the second half of the year is. For the minute the manager sees enough in me to keep me around, that's all the incentive I need."

Longstaff scored nine goals in 45 games for Blackpool last term after a spell at Kilmarnock but has remained with Newcastle this term.

He also trains with Tynemouth Cricket Club, who play in the North East Premier League, in the summer and believes the break from football helps.

"I spend a lot of time there. There are a few lads at Newcastle who are keen on it so we speak about it a lot," said the 21-year-old.

"I do a lot of pre-season training at the cricket club and it's just a good way to get away from football and do something different.

"I bowl more than I bat, being quite tall it helps, I claimed seven wickets in a match once.

"It's something I took more seriously when I was younger but now I do it for a bit of fun with my mates.

"Anyone from the north east it's not really a decision, football was always my number one goal and I'm lucky enough to be able to do that."



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2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
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