Now we have our number one target Joe Willock eventually in through the door, it would appear that the Baron of Bacon is looking to bring in some new faces, more than likely on loan, as he and the club scramble to get any new bodies in before the window shuts in less than a fortnight.

Some news had been doing the rounds on social media and paper talk that Bruce is willing to listen to offers for a number of players, strangely Fabian Schar and Cieran Clark, who are two of our better defenders, and after Sunday’s debacle, we need those. It was two other names that caught my eye however, in the name of both Sean and Matty Longstaff.

For a while now we’ve wondered what happened between Bruce and the lads behind the scenes, perhaps we’ll never know? It certainly hampered their progress in a Newcastle United squad that is still heavily reliant on an aging & lazy Jonjo Shelvey, these lads really should’ve ousted him from the side by now, but as we know it hasn’t happened.

If we start with Matty, which in itself is such a weird situation. For it was Bruce himself that gave the young flame haired midfielder his chance in the side, and the North Shields boy didn’t disappoint, seeing off Manchester United, and Paul Pogba with confidence and quality. Where did that player go? Yes Matty had some contract squabbles it would seem, but it ended well, he signed a 2 year deal, moved to number 4, and it all seemed like he was part of the managers plans, I’m willing to bet he was told that too.

As we know now that hasn’t been the case, we don’t the exact reason why, speculation of whether Matty was the infamous “Mole” or not did the rounds on social media, Bruce of course blamed the lads fitness, which I’m sure isn’t the case,  but he’s been largely frozen out since. Whenever the rarity comes he gets a chance, and it’s usually against a top 4 side, he doesn’t disappoint. He’s neat, tidy, keeps possession, a lot of the attributes you want from a midfielder, especially in a side that doesn’t have the ball too much.

This doesn’t seem to matter to our manager though, and Matty looks like he’s about to head out on loan. Lots of championship clubs have been linked, with the likes of Nottingham Forest, Derby and Blackburn rovers all keen. I think a move like this at this stage of Matty’s career will do him the world of good, with his style of play and his attributes, I’d back him to make an impact in the championship. He’ll hopefully work under a manager who gets him as a player and helps him develop. My only hope is he returns to St James Park a better player, and hopefully to play under a new manager, but I know I’m getting ahead of myself there.

Now let’s look at big brother, and the news that Newcastle will accept offers of £10m for Sean has really surprised me. Unlike Matty, Sean had seemed to claw his way back into the first team picture under this clown, and actually started quite a few games towards the end of the season. Sean offers us a lot more movement in the midfield than Jonjo does, and has the ability to get on the ball and make a pass too, so it’s surprising to see that we’d cash in on him.

Speculation of a reunion with Rafa Benitez at Everton have been doing the rounds for a while, and now seemingly Southampton may be interested too, perhaps they’re lining up Ward-Prowse’s replacements if Villa, an actual ambitious club, come back in for him. It would be massively disappointing if Sean was to leave, but I wouldn’t blame him for going to either of those clubs.

A chance to once again play under a world class manager who got the best out of you on one side, and on the other in the Saints, a club with a history of improving players who go on to big moves to top 4 clubs, and England recognition. Both are certainly a better option than this basket case club right now. The names linked to potentially replace Sean are no better than the young Geordie in my opinion.

The main one seems to be Hamza Choudhury from Leicester City, other than breaking Matt Ritchie’s ankle with a Shithouse tackle, I’m not sure what this lad would actually bring to the side, not to mention he’s a player that plays in Issac Hayden’s position, not Sean’s. Strange recruitment by this club again.

With Steve Bruce appearing on BBC Newcastle tonight, I’d quite like a caller to ask him about the Longstaffs, and why things have gone the way they have, I’d be keen to hear his answer, albeit he’d probably just ramble on and not actually answer the question. He was once quoted saying “We don’t want to sell our young players, especially young Geordies” so what’s changed Steve?

If the lads move on, especially if in Sean’s case permanently, what message does that send out to the academy players? Lads who look to Sean & Matty’s path and wish to follow it, does it inspire them to work hard and get their chance? Look at Eliot Anderson, a player who did exactly that, worked hard, got his chance, did well, and then like Matty, was shoved back into the wilderness.

It’s strange that Steve Bruce was a senior player at Man Utd when the infamous “Class of 92” came through, could you imagine what would’ve happened to those young players had he been manager? Would Beckham be playing for Preston North end? Scholes at Oldham Athletic? I’d expect him to be more attuned to the fact that these young players need game time, which he’s just not given them.

So in summary, I understand Matty going on loan, that makes sense for both the player and club right now, but to sell Sean doesn’t to me. It stinks of short-termism, Jonjo Shelvey isn’t getting any younger, or better for that matter, listen to the boo’s on Sunday if you want validity of that. So why would we sell the player in our squad who should be his heir in waiting? Unless we were to replace with a better player like a Ward-Prowse, which we just wouldn’t have the ambition to do. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Whatever your opinion is on the lads, as a Newcastle fan and a Geordie, it saddens me deeply to see what has happened to these once promising young prospects, and again highlights the damage being done to this football club by this disconnected regime, and archaic, past his sell by date manager, who isn’t just a symptom of the club’s current slide into misery and mediocrity, but has also become a destructive influence to the clubs future, and for those young players within our ranks hoping to progress in to the first team.

Once again, this is a truly depressing, and sad reality check of the point the club has arrived at under Mike Ashley, and if the seemingly pipe dream prospect of the takeover doesn’t happen, the Longstaffs won’t be the only young talented Geordies we lose from our ranks.

Chris Currie – @wig82