‘Up there’ - Eddie Howe says Newcastle United star is one of the fittest in the Premier League

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United are yet to lose a match the midfielder has started in 2023-24.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe believes Sean Longstaff has proven he is good enough to play for England.

The North Shields-born midfielder has been widely tipped to earn his first Three Lions cap in the near future as he continues to form a key part of the Magpies’ midfield.

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Injury forced Longstaff to drop out of United’s starting XI for the opening games but his return to the side has coincided with a seven-game unbeaten run and has found the net in wins over Sheffield United and Paris Saint-Germain.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Kieran Trippier was the only Newcastle player to be called up by Gareth Southgate with Nick Pope, Callum Wilson and the in-form Anthony Gordon also overlooked. Longstaff no never represented England, not even at youth level, but Howe has encouraged the 25-year-old to aim big,

“I haven’t spoken with Sean in any great detail about the England squad or his dreams and aims but I’d encourage it for him because I think he is good enough,” Howe told NewcastleWorld. “I think he’s got everything depending on what system you want to play but for us, he perfectly fits the No.8 role that we’re using him in.

“I’d love to see him score more goals and get in more goalscoring positions because I think he is a very good finisher - you saw the other night with a really good goal, so hopefully there’s more to come from him.

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“But he’s certainly done very well at the start of this season.

Longstaff’s fitness and energy largely epitomises what Howe wants from his Newcastle players. Indeed, the former Blackpool loanee’s physical statistics are so high that Howe believes he is one of the fittest midfielders in England’s top-flight.

“He’d certainly be up there,” said Howe. “The game the other night he covered every blade, he does that consistently.

“What I love about Sean is it’s not just one game and then he goes flat, hopefully not anyway! He’s been very consistent with his work ethic and distances he hits.

“When you’re managing and picking a team, you need reliable players and he’s certainly that.”

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