July 21, 2024

This season, Newcastle United has relied heavily on a small number of players.

Eddie Howe’s injury crisis at Newcastle has not seemed to subside, and it was exacerbated during the international break by Sven Botman’s second major injury of the season.

Given the scarcity of available numbers, players have had to keep going.

Kieran Trippier, after all, could have used a break during the difficult period he experienced around the turn of the year.

Nonetheless, there were few alternatives to replace him, as has been the case with Dan Burn, a defender who continues to divide opinion.

This brings us to Sean Longstaff.

The midfielder has been playing despite an injury this season, and Howe has admitted that if there were more possibilities to replace him, he would have removed Longstaff from the squad.

The 26-year-old has not been in great form recently, but Howe has launched a passionate defence of him.

Sean Longstaff is no longer playing through injury

Speaking to The Chronicle before of Saturday’s Premier League match against West Ham, Howe praised Longstaff as Newcastle’s “unsung hero” and stated the injury issue he was dealing with has now been resolved.

“Sean would probably say that he is now in a good place physically,” he went on to remark.

“I don’t believe he is currently playing with an injury; nevertheless, he has done so at times. This season, he has put himself on the pitch with a difficulty. I believe Sean is a minor unsung hero.”

Sean Longstaff can be a useful squad option for Newcastle

Newcastle United: 'To be in this position now is a real privilege' - Sean  Longstaff - BBC Sport

 

Longstaff has been an important member of Howe’s team during the manager’s turnaround of Newcastle United.
Given the leadership earlier this season, Howe clearly values Longstaff.

While he may not always wow as a regular starter, he would not be in an ideal world. With Sandro Tonali back next season, the midfield will have more alternatives, and Longstaff may be moved more frequently.

He’s definitely someone Howe sees a future for, even if his continuous starting spot may signal Newcastle aren’t at their best.

It would be fascinating to watch where his form goes from here, given his recent injury difficulties.

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