Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff admits he was »distracted » by transfer speculation linking him with a transfer to Manchester United.
United held »high pitched » talks with Newcastle before this summer over a prospective bargain for the 21-year-old, who admitted at the time he had been »flattered » from the strategy.
A movement failed to materialise for Longstaff, together with United reluctant to meet Newcastle’s #50m evaluation of the midfielder.
« You can sometimes get distracted from the outside sound and, maybe for just a tiny bit in the summertime, I really did, » Longstaff told NUFC TV.
« It is difficult not to when you go anywhere and you notice your face on the front of a paper or you turn the telly on and folks are speaking about you personally.
« It is not like they are talking about little matters, they’re discussing things that could change your life, really. »
Longstaff was thrust into the spotlight when Rafael Benitez handed him a top-flight introduction as a substitute at a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool .
He had opened his own Premier League account having a goal against Burnley in a 2-0 triumph, before a knee injury cut short his promising debut year.
Following his rapid rise to prominence, the Newcastle-born midfielder found ways to handle the pressure.
« I attempt to stay the same. The expectations stem from folks beyond their club, really. You speak to the supervisor and speak to the gamers to get a daily basis and you know what they want, » he explained.
« At the end of the day, provided that you’re doing exactly what they want and they’re happy with you, that is how it’s got to be. »
Longstaff admits among his neighbours does not even recognise him and is appreciating anonymity while his inventory has grown rapidly in his career.
« He was reading the newspaper and large Joe [Joelinton] was on the front and he stopped me and began talking, and that I could tell he didn’t realise I’d played, » said Longstaff.
« He had been speaking about how good Joe was and how great the outcome was at Spurs. The page turned and I was on it, and now I had to stop myself from laughing, then he was speaking about me.
« I thought,’I hope he’s not going to slag off me here, I hope he’s not going to batter me’, that was pretty funny, but he said some nice things. »
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