Steve Bruce “loves” Newcastle United youngster Matty Longstaff even though he has struggled for game time recently and his future at the club is shrouded in major doubt.

That is according to Alex Bruce, the former Premier League defender and son of the Magpies manager speaking exclusively to Football Insider.

Longstaff was omitted from the matchday squad for Newcastle’s 0-0 draw with Burnley on Saturday, which means it is now one win in 10 Premier League games for the club.

But Bruce is in no doubt that his father is a huge admirer of the teenager, who turns 20 later this month.

Asked by Football Insider which of the Newcastle young players his Dad is getting excited by, Bruce replied: “Matty Longstaff, Dad loves him, he says to me he’s done great when he’s come in and played.

“Difficult for a young lad to come in and play every week in the Premier League, the demands of the Premier League.

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“Any young player will tell you that, but when you get to my age now and you look back on your career you’re a little bit up and down until your consistency levels (balance out) and you know what’s required of you week in, week out.

“It takes a while to get to that level.”

Longstaff has made 12 appearances for the Newcastle first team, announcing his arrival with the winning goal on his Premier League debut against Man United.

He has started six league matches for his boyhood club and is the joint second top scorer in the competition this season, but he is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to agree a new deal.

In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have been hit by a devastating blow to “exceptional player”.