Newcastle United midfielder admits he considered leaving with head ‘turned in every different direction’

Sean Longstaff has committed his future to Newcastle United after signing a new three-year contract.

Sean Longstaff admits he considered leaving Newcastle United before Eddie Howe was appointed head coach.

The Geordie midfielder put pen to paper on a new three-year contract at his boyhood club late on Wednesday afternoon.

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The 24-year-old’s deal was due to expire on June 30 and cited Howe as a big reason for why he decided remain on Tyneside.

Longstaff broke into the first-team under Rafa Benitez during the 2018/19 season, though a knee injury cut his debut term short.

Under Steve Bruce, the former Blackpool loanee struggled to recapture the form from his breakthrough campaign and was linked with reuniting with Benitez at Everton.

However, since Howe stepped through the door at St James’ Park, Longstaff has rediscovered his love for football - and Newcastle.

‘Your head starts to get turned in every different direction’

“I’m 24 now and getting into the stage of my career where I need to play but also need to be in the right place to learn and keep improving,” Longstaff told NUFCTV.

“I’ve loved every second of working under the new manager.

“It sounds a bit horrible but a bit beforehand, your head starts to get turned in every different direction when you’re in and out and not really enjoying your football.

“The manager has come in and changed all that. He’s really made me fall back in love with Newcastle and playing football, which is the biggest thing for me.

“Being able to work with him every day and his staff, they always want you to get better. If you want to help me improve then I’m all for you.

“Speaking with the manager quite a lot, he assured me that he wants to keep helping me improve and the goals he thinks I can achieve, and they aligned with me.”

‘Leaving did cross my mind’

Longstaff has started just six games in 2022 - including four of the last five - but Howe has convinced him to stay.

“It’s the only football club I’ve ever known for a long period of time. It’s so hard to contemplate even leaving that.

“At times, I did cross my mind but not as much this season, especially during the second-half of the season.

“My focus and my sights were set on re-signing here. The manager has made that decision 10x easier.

“I probably had to convince him through performances and training every day that I do want to be here.

“I remember having conversations with him asking why I only had a year left. It was all a bit complicated but all I’ve wanted to do is play for this manager and football club.”