This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Middlesbrough are plotting a summer move to sign Matty Longstaff, according to reports from Chronicle Live.
The Newcastle United midfielder is facing an uncertain future as he moves into the final 12 months of his contract at St James’ Park, and after making just five appearances last term, it seems that he could be set to move on.
Longstaff is said to be attracting interest from Norwich City, Anderlecht and West Brom, however it’s Neil Warnock’s side who will be keen to strike a deal.
So would the 21-year-old be a good signing for the Teessiders?
The team at FLW have their say…
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I’m not convinced it should be anything close to a priority deal for Middlesbrough this summer, but that isn’t to say that Longstaff wouldn’t be a good signing.
A fresh start will do him well this summer and a move to Boro would offer him a chance to prove Newcastle’s use of him wrong.
The midfielder’s got plenty of energy about him, plus good technical ability. He’s got traits suited to both the Premier League and Championship, so whoever gets their hands on him this summer are making a good move, in my eyes.
However, Neil Warnock needs to sort out other pressing issues in his squad. The need for a couple of strikers to come in is great, whilst there’s also the potential for a twist in Dael Fry’s future.
They have to be priorities right now rather than a central midfielder.
The likes of Sam Morsy, Jonny Howson and George Saville are still around, whilst Lewis Wing has returned. There’s plenty of variety there even without Longstaff.
I think it could be.
Longstaff needs to be playing regular football next season to keep improving and it seems clear that that is not going to be happening at Newcastle United in the 2021/22 campaign.
That said, he needs a move away and I think a club like Middlesbrough would be really good for him.
Boro are playing at a good level in the Championship and you would expect them to be challenging for the play-offs at the very least next year, which would be great experience for Longstaff.
Neil Warnock would really help guide him as a player and with Boro relatively local to Newcastle as well I think it’s a potential move that ticks plenty of boxes.
This would be a major coup for Middlesbrough if they could manage to bring in a player with Matty Longstaff’s quality this summer. The midfielder needs to get regular game time after not managing to convince Steve Bruce he was ready for regular Premier League starts last term.
Longstaff is someone that has already shown signs of his class during his performances for Newcastle to date and he has plenty of experience under his belt from the last two campaigns.
He is someone that would likely thirve in the environment that Neil Warnock has created at Boro and would be able to handle the pressure of being a key player for them.
Boro need to enhance the quality of their squad if they are going to be able to challenge for promotion, and this is a signing that would give them a real boost in quality in the middle of the park.
The midfielder has plenty of other admirers and therefore it would be hard to see him arriving at the Riverside this summer. However, if he were to sign it would be a brilliant addition and show Boro mean business next season.