Matty Longstaff is expected to be heading out on-loan ahead of the upcoming season, according to a report from Chronicle Live that surfaced two weeks ago.
The report confirmed that both West Brom and Middlesbrough, as well as Norwich City and Anderlecht were in pursuit.
It seems that the young midfielder finds himself in a position where he needs regular first-team minutes, and his eventual destination is likely to come down to whichever team can promise him that.
Former Baggies and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson spoke to Football Insider about the prospect of his former club signing the 21-year-old: “If they can get him on loan it could be a brilliant signing. It would be a cheap signing as well because they would just have to pay his wages and a small fee.
“He is a combative player and someone who West Brom could do with in the midfield next season. It is an area they need to strengthen in because they’ve lost Okay Yokuslu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.”
The Baggies are, of course, planning for a return to the Championship and have just appointed Valerien Ismael as Sam Allardyce’s successor.
It’s taken time to reach that appointment, with Ismael arriving on the back of helping Barnsley into the Championship’s play-offs last season.
Quiz: What was the score the last time West Brom played each of these 25 teams?
Longstaff burst onto the scene as a teenager and thoroughly impressed Newcastle fans with his technical ability and maturity at such a young age, and whilst he has found regular minutes difficult to come by in recent times, he will be an excellent addition at Championship level.
As well as his evident ability in possession, he is a tenacious midfielder who would benefit greatly from Valerien Ismael’s high-pressing philosophy.
He also offers something completely different to the club’s current options, and he would work well with new signing Alex Mowatt. The former Barnsley man poses an attacking threat from deep with his excellent range of passing and technical ability as a whole, whilst Longstaff brings constant energy and a desire to get up and down the pitch.
Norwich’s Premier League status would have probably helped their case for securing a deal for Longstaff, however, the Canaries’ recent signing of Billy Gilmour suggests that they might pull out of the running.