Ex-Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has hailed his successor Steve Bruce for bringing Matty Longstaff into the senior fold at St James’ Park.
Current Magpies boss Bruce saw his side beat Manchester United 1-0 at home before the international break and 19-year-old Longstaff scored the winner on his Premier League debut.
He partnered older brother Sean to great effect in the midfield, who was previously drafted into the Newcastle squad during Benitez’s reign.
It looks like the siblings could be the new midfield combination moving forward after excellent displays against Manchester United and both are local lads to come through the academy.
Benitez expressed his delight to see Matty Longstaff earn a senior promotion under Bruce and explained he stood out in training for him.
“I was really pleased to see Matty Longstaff scoring the winning goal for Newcastle; he was great when he was training with us and it was a good decision from Steve Bruce to make him play,” Benitez wrote on his website.
“I was also happy to see a few Geordies playing together at the same time; Carroll, Sean and Matty; surely it shouldn’t be difficult to see the benefits of investing in the academy? £4million every year for 10 years means £40million (one player); one ‘Longstaff’ every year for ten years seems good business to me.”
Newcastle fans will be delighted to hear that ex-boss Benitez is still paying close attention to matters at St James’ Park and there are plenty still getting over his summer departure.
He certainly made a major impact during his time at St James’ Park and bringing Sean Longstaff into the XI last season proved a masterstroke.
Bruce has now turned to his younger brother and he may help solve the problem in the centre of the park.
Newcastle manager Bruce needed a big result before the break to relieve some mounting pressure, but he will continue to be under scrutiny and unfortunately compared to Benitez.