Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff has been quoted by the Evening Chronicle as saying that he almost joined Rangers on loan in January 2019, before breaking into the Toon side on a regular basis.
Longstaff, 22, was on the cusp of Newcastle’s senior side under Rafa Benitez midway through the 2018-19 campaign – and had a tricky decision to make in the January window. Stay and fight for a place, or go out on loan for a third time.
Steven Gerrard was trying to lure the midfielder to Rangers, with Longstaff having impressed during his time on loan at Kilmarnock before shining at Blackpool. Instead, Benitez told him to stay and gave him his first Premier League start.
Longstaff started eight consecutive Premier League matches for Newcastle before suffering a knee injury, and it lead to Newcastle valuing the midfielder at £50million amid Manchester United interest, according to the Telegraph.
Longstaff said about a move to Rangers: “Rafa took me into his office and I remember he said Gerrard wanted to take me to Rangers and I sort of had my heart set on that a little bit. “I was like, ‘I want to go!’
“He was like ‘No, you can’t go. You’ve got to wait another week or so’ and then he pulled me before Chelsea and said, ‘You’re going to get a chance’. “I was over the moon – it was the opportunity I wanted since I was a little kid.”
TBR’s view – Newcastle form means Rangers missed out on a gem
Though Longstaff’s form has dipped somewhat since he broke into Newcastle’s senior side, he is still considered one of the club’s best players and is used on a regular basis – competing with Jonjo Shelvey, Nabil Bentaleb and his brother Matty.
In Rangers midfield, there is no doubt that Longstaff would have improved Rangers. Indeed, he would have been one of Gerrard’s best players, alongside the likes of Steven Davis and Ryan Jack. It was not to be, though.