Newcastle United transfer of Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury reliant on futures of Longstaff brothers
According to The Athletic, Newcastle United reviving their interest in a deal for Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury is reliant on the futures of Sean and Matty Longstaff.
Newcastle attempted to sign Choudhury on loan during the January transfer window and he remains a player admired on Tyneside. Steve Bruce confirmed United’s interest during the winter, noting via Chronicle Live ahead of Deadline Day: “He’s somebody we’ve liked.”
Bruce wants to strengthen Newcastle’s options in midfield during the summer and has a selection of players in mind. Joe Willock is one, but United are concerned Arsenal will wait until Mikel Arteta has assessed him in pre-season.
Alternatives to Willock are being drawn up including Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham and Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien. All three have been watched this season but would occupy an alternative role to Choudhury.
The Leicester midfielder is being lined up for a defensive midfield role in case the Longstaff brothers leave. Both Sean and Matty will enter the final year of their current contracts this summer and face differing futures.
Sean is keen to stay at St. James’ Park beyond 2022 and establish himself as first-team player. But Matty is expected to push for a move away from Tyneside, likely on loan. Elliot Anderson is also expected to leave Newcastle on loan to gain regular senior minutes.
TBR’s view: Bruce neglected Matty Longstaff at Newcastle
Newcastle reviving their interest in Choudhury in the event that the Longstaff brothers leave would be highly likely. Bruce clearly values what the 23-year-old can bring to St. James’ Park, having sought his services over the winter.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers also praises Choudhury for his ‘fantastic’ technique, but also his ‘brilliant’ pressing ability (Leicestershire Live). Both would be beneficial in improving Bruce’s options beyond Jonjo Shelvey and the ever-reliable Isaac Hayden.
But the futures of the Longstaff brothers must be resolved first, having seen Bruce neglect Matty in the 2020/21 season. The 21-year-old only featured five times in the Premier League, starting four, with his last appearance coming in January.
Longstaff was fit throughout his time in the wilderness, yet was omitted by Bruce to the bemusement of his teammates. The Toon product had played well in his rare outings, as well.
The England U20 international was tidy and made several vital interceptions at Manchester City on Boxing Day. He followed that up with an ice-cool display at home to Liverpool and spread play with ease. The Rotherham-born talent again stepped up against Leicester and was solid at Arsenal but was seen again.
A loan spell may be what Longstaff needs to get playing regular football again unless Bruce is willing to accept he made a mistake. Doing so, though, could see a new player arrive at Newcastle in Choudhury to take his place for good.
That is unless Newcastle miss out on Choudhury by failing to settle the immediate futures of the Longstaff brothers, which will become an increasingly pressing problem for Bruce and United the longer they wait.
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