Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has revealed that midfielder Matty Longstaff is still in his thoughts, despite him having been linked with a potential January move to Nottingham Forest and Derby County.
Longstaff has endured a frustrating start to the season at Newcastle with the midfielder having signed a new deal in the summer, but injury troubles delayed his start to the campaign. The 20-year-old, though, is behind the likes of Jeff Hendrick, Sean Longstaff, Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden in the pecking order at St James’ Park.
That has seen Longstaff be linked with a potential loan move away from Newcastle in January. Nottingham Forest have been reported as one club who are weighing up whether to bring in the midfielder in the winter window. While rivals Derby are also interested with Steve McClaren reportedly hoping his connections with the Magpies can help secure a deal.
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Speaking to the Northern Echo, Bruce revealed that Newcastle would have been wanting the midfielder to have more of a pre-season period to recover from his injury. However, he suggested that he remains part of his plans and just needs to wait for his chance to get in the side.
He said: “Matty falls into the same sort of category as Dummy’s (Paul Dummett) gone into, and Ryan Fraser. He’s been out a long time, and he’s trained now for the last two or three weeks.
“He’s in and around the squad, and I could have done with him having two, three, four games, like a pre-season. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to have that, but he is in my thoughts, especially when we’ve got a few missing. He’ll have to wait his chance like everybody else.”
This latest update from Bruce on Longstaff will be a blow for both Forest and Derby, with it looking like the midfielder could be kept by Newcastle in January. The Magpies are needing cover in the middle of the park and unless they sign someone in the winter window it could be a major task to convince them to allow the 20-year-old to leave the club.
Both Forest and Derby are in need of extra reinforcements and quality in the midfield area and Longstaff would arrive with plenty to prove after a slow start to the campaign. However, both clubs might now have to look at other targets following this update and try and solve their issues with other potential additions.
Longstaff, though, could play a key part in determining his own short-term future, if he were to insist that he wants regular game time, then a loan move might become possible. Therefore, this is still one to keep an eye on for both Nottingham Forest and Derby as the winter window approaches.