March 1, 2024

Ex-Premier League star who scored vs Man Utd on debut to move to MLS | Football | Sport


Former Newcastle United wonderkid Matty Longstaff has ended his short exile from football by signing for MLS outfit Toronto FC as a free agent. The midfielder shot to prominence in the 2019-20 season as he announced his arrival as a Premier League player with a goal on his debut versus Manchester United.

The homegrown starlet’s strike versus the Red Devils in October 2019 earned him major plaudits at St James’ Park and beyond as he beat David de Gea with a low and driving effort. Earning his boyhood club the win, his maiden goal also earned him the Premier League‘s Goal of the Month prize.

He went on to make eight more appearances in an impressive first campaign in the top flight with the Magpies, with many observers earmarking him as a potential future international. With brother Sean Longstaff having already established himself in the first team, it had appeared that a similar path was lying in wait for his sibling.

Another strike in the reverse fixture versus Manchester United that season also saw his burgeoning reputation soar and he earned a call up to England’s U-20s side in 2019. However, the talented prospect struggled to maintain his startling rise in the years that followed and he was eventually released at the end of last season.

His last game for Newcastle came back in the 2020-21 campaign and he embarked on loan spells with Aberdeen, Mansfield Town and Colchester United before his contract expired with the Toon. Following a 14-month layoff, he now has the chance to resurrect his career in Canada.

The deal he has signed is for up to two years with Toronto FC, through 2025 and includes an option for 2026. He had remained with Newcastle as he recovered from his anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained back in December 2022 but his move across the pond represents a new challenge for the 23-year-old

Speaking previously to Sport Bible about his injury woes, he said: “I’m really motivated to get back. I want to be a top player. Things are going really well at the moment. I’ve been back out on the grass in these last two weeks. Hopefully, I’ll be fully fit in January. The last couple of months especially have been really positive.

“I’m in a good frame of mind. If everything goes to plan, I’m hoping to be back in January or February time. Things are going really well at the moment. I’ve been back out on the grass in these last two weeks.

“Hopefully, I’ll be fully fit in January,” he continued, as he plotted his future ahead of the new year. “The last couple of months especially have been really positive. I’m in a good frame of mind. If everything goes to plan, I’m hoping to be back in January or February time.”

Toronto FC head coach John Herdman heralded his fellow Geordie’s arrival in the US, saying: “I’m thrilled to welcome Matty to our squad. His Premier League experience and dynamic playing style will add depth to our midfield and complement our tactical blueprint.”



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