‘Big boost’ - Newcastle United star fit to face Aston Villa despite ‘limited training’

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Newcastle United midfielder could start against Aston Villa this Saturday (kick-off 5:30pm).

Sean Longstaff is in contention to start Newcastle United’s Premier League opener at home to Aston Villa after making his return last Sunday.

The 25-year-old started both of the Magpies’ opening pre-season friendlies versus Gateshead and Rangers but played no part in the Premier League Summer Series because of a niggling injury.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Longstaff sat out of matches against Aston Villa, Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion, however made a timely return at the weekend during United’s 4-0 win over Villarreal. The North Shields-born midfielder got through 75 minutes at St James’ Park.

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“Big boost for him and a big boost for us because he’s such an important player,” said Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe. “He’s done very limited training during pre-season. He picked up a really small niggle but when a niggle is enough to keep him out for two weeks it really can set you back.

“It’s a testament to his fitness levels that he’s able to get through the time he did today. Fingers crossed he feels good.”

The midfield three which started against Villarreal — Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton — are heavily tipped to retain their places for the visit of Unai Emery’s Villa.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Howe has stressed that £52million summer signing Sandro Tonali needs time to adapt, while Joe Willock is still working his way back to full fitness after missing the whole of pre-season with a hamstring injury.

Young duo Elliot Anderson and Lewis Miley have impressed hugely throughout the last four weeks but Miley in particular is unlikely to be exposed to a Premier League start yet after Howe spoke of the need to protect him.

Longstaff has emerged as one of Howe’s most trusted performers over the last 12 months, largely due to his relentless workrate. The midfielder was a notable absence during United’s 3-0 defeat at Villa Park in March.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.