Noel Whelan insists getting Matty Longstaff tied down to a new contract was a “no-brainer” even if there is a takeover at Newcastle United.
The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the homegrown talent always wanted to commit his long-term future to his boyhood club despite months of speculation.
The Magpies confirmed on Saturday that the 20-year-old had agreed terms on a new two-year deal after his old contract ran out this summer.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 22, 2020
The promising talent made 15 appearances during his breakthrough season on Tyneside and scored three goals.
Whelan insists Newcastle would have had to splash the cash in the transfer market to replace him and that tying him down was sensible business.
Whelan told Football Insider: “You look now and he’s come out and said Steve Bruce has tempted him to stay – I don’t think there’s a tempt there, I think he always wanted to stay.
“I just think they just needed to show the appreciation of a young player coming through and a boyhood fan. So it’s nice to know that because this takeover deal isn’t getting done with this consortium, now they have to sign these players.
“Letting him go for a free, they’d have just had to spend money to bring in another midfield player. It doesn’t seem that anyone’s putting any money down for players right now. Another takeover bid might be on the cards but to keep a player of his quality and his age, it’s a no-brainer to me.
“These young, home-bred players that have broken into the Premier League at a very early age, you’ve got to keep.”
Longstaff was in and out of the side under Steve Bruce but he did feature in all but one of the club’s cup fixtures.
With his future in question, he played just 27 minutes across two substitute appearances in the club’s final nine games following lockdown.
In other Newcastle United news, Darren Bent has lifted the lid on a former teammate set to join the Magpies.