Newcastle United have given themselves a boost for the future by handing youngster Sean Longstaff a new contract that will see him stay the club until at least 2022.
This will be great news for Rafa Benitez as he seemingly rates Longstaff very highly. The Magpies boss included him in the first team squad's pre-season training camp in Portugal and has him training regularly with the first team on a daily basis.
The young Geordie has caught the eye this season with numerous outstanding performances for the under-23s where he has been head and shoulders above most of his teammates.
A chance in the first team not far away
He has been one of the main reasons why they have been doing so well this season with the Magpies' second string sitting comfortably in sixth in the league as well as top in their Premier League cup group.
Longstaff was handed his first team debut earlier this season in Newcastle's disappointing Carabao cup defeat to Nottingham Forest however, Longstaff put in a good display in difficult circumstances.
The youngster was spotted by Newcastle playing for North Shields and grew up supporting Newcastle and he was clearly delighted to be given the new contract as he spoke to NUFC.com about the news.
"I’m a local lad, I’m from Newcastle and they’re the team I supported growing up," he said.
“The fact they’ve seen enough in me – and the manager has seen enough in me – to give me a new deal is great."
Benitez wants him to do well
The youngster knows he must keep working hard and be ready to take his chance when it arrives. He added: “I’m just hoping to build on that now, keep working hard and see what happens in the future.”
Boss Benitez is also happy that a deal has been able to be agreed as he sees a lot of potential in Longstaff.
"I’m really pleased with the extension because we have seen from the first training session that Sean is a young lad with great potential," the boss said.
“He is keen to learn, he is a hard worker and he has the quality and the talent to become a good player."
"I’m sure our fans will appreciate seeing that from a local lad.”