Allowing Matty Longstaff to leave on virtually a free transfer would represent a failing far above and beyond even the typical bad decisions Newcastle supporters are used to watching their club make. Yes there is a takeover bid ongoing which will play a part in complicating affairs but that can’t be allowed to be used as an excuse if the club allow one of their brightest talents for a number of years leave for nothing but a nominal compensation fee.
At the end of the day, this shouldn’t have ever been a situation which the club found itself in. Why those in charge of the club opted against locking down one of their most promising assets the club had on the field as soon as he started to show promise at the beginning of the season is baffling beyond belief. It’s not like Matty Longstaff burst onto the scene three days before the takeover talks kicked off – he first showed what he could do in pre-season against Saint-Etienne before the 2019/20 season even kicked off.
Yet, in keeping with the typical lax attitude that has become almost iconic of the Mike Ashley era, there was no considerable efforts made to secure the young Englishman’s future at the club and now down the line we’re seeing the consequences of that inaction as the midfielder could very possibly be tempted away from St. James’ Park.
Relying on a young player’s home loyalty to a club is a strategy akin to simply passing the buck and was always going to cost the club in the long run but even the most pessimistic supporters might have at least presumed Newcastle would cash in on a few million in an cut-price transfer elsewhere. Few would have predicted it would be allowed to get to the stage that he could leave for just a compensation fee.
Udinese look set to be leading the race at present and worse still for Newcastle, the Italian side would be paying an ever further reduced fee. Then there is the fact that, should Longstaff join the Serie A side, it’s almost guaranteed the Pozzo family-owned club would loan him to their other enterprise, Watford, and suddenly he’s back in the Premier League but at a reduced cost. Across the board, Newcastle look set to lose out.