Sean Longstaff reveals how he reacted to Man Utd transfer speculation
Longstaff, 21, caught Rafael Benitez’s eye ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and made 13 appearances in all competitions before a knee ligament injury cut short his season in March.
However, only Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka arrived through the doors at Old Trafford and, when the transfer window shut, Longstaff was still a Newcastle player.
On United’s reported interest, Longstaff told NUFCTV: ‘You can sometimes get distracted by the outside noise and maybe for a little bit in the summer I was a bit.
‘It’s hard not to whenever you go anywhere you see your face on the front of a newspaper and you turn the telly on people are talking about you.
‘And it’s not like they’re talking about little things, they’re talking about things that can change your life really.
‘The expectation is half what I’ve done and it’s probably a good thing.
‘It does just go to show I did impress people when I got my chance last year.
‘So for me it’s about not listening to them and sticking to what I do.’
Longstaff has revealed that conversations with Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie kept him ‘grounded’ amid the intense speculation.
‘I speak to Matty Ritchie a lot, he’s someone I lean on in the squad. He tends to keep us grounded and he’s always there with good bits of advice,’ Longstaff added.
Sometimes you can get distracted by figures that are thrown out there and you’re doing things you wouldn’t normally try to do.
‘I think I spoke to him about it and he said the reason people are speaking about you is because of what you did and keep everything so simple and ticking along and you’ve got the other stuff there if you need it.
‘I’m not back to where I was last year but I’m getting closer and closer and I think it’s just about working hard and getting back to that level. The outside noise is something I try not to listen to. It’s always going to be there now – there’ll be more eyes on me now.’
Longstaff believes there is still plenty of room for improvement as he works his way back to full fitness following his serious knee injury.
‘I’m only going to get back to that level with games and it’s going to take a bit of time,’ he said.
‘The kind of person I am, I want to be there straight away.
‘The manager has given us that reassurance it’s going to take a bit of time.
‘I know there’s things I can do better but it’s all learning and I’m still young.
‘I’m still enjoying it, I’m still going to be keep working hard on the pitch.’
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