How Rafa Benitez stopped Rangers transfer during stint as Newcastle boss

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff revealed that a conversation with former Magpies boss Rafa Benitez persuaded him to stay at the club before he almost joined Rangers. Steven Gerrard had enquired about his availability last season after speaking with Benitez, but had been informed that he was still a key part of the first-team. 

And Longstaff opened up to the Spaniard over being on the fringes and demanded more regular game time.

“Rafa took me into his office and said Gerrard wanted me at Rangers and i sort of had my heart set on that a little bit,” he said. 

“I was champing at the bit to play and said “I want to go” but he told me “you’re going to get your chance.” 



  • Man Utd, Everton and Newcastle weighing up move for Celtic star

“And I was over the moon because that was the opportunity I’d wanted since I was a little kid. 

“Luckily, I was able to do that and ended up having a good little run.” 

The 22-year-old has been lauded for his efforts since making his Premier League debut in December 2018 against Liverpool at Anfield but has been in and out of Steve Bruce’s plans so far. 

Longstaff has made 20 appearances for his hometown club this season and Newcastle fans have questioned whether he has improved since his knee injury against West Ham.   

Newcastle lost 1-0 at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, with Paul Merson questioning Steve Bruce’s tactics.

Merson said: “They played Joelinton, Almiron, Saint-Maximin and they were lively up front.

“But the two in midfield just got overrun. They played Longstaff and Bentaleb in midfield against the three of Palace and they just got overrun.

“I thought Steve Bruce should have changed it quicker and the keeper kept them in the game if I’m being honest.

“Saint-Maximin was the only one who was really a threat. It was a bad day at the office. They probably played worse than they did at Arsenal.” 

Source: Read Full Article