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Rafa Benitez explains why he has high hopes for Man Utd midfield target

Rafa Benitez has been speaking in an exclusive Q&A session for the Athletic UK.

The former Newcastle boss has provided some great insight answering fans questions, and was asked about Manchester United midfield target Sean Longstaff.

Longstaff was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford all summer, yet no midfielder was signed to replace the departing Ander Herrera.

As per Manchester Evening News, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is an admirer of the youngster, and the Reds had hoped to bring him in before they flew out for their pre-season tour this summer.

However, after learning about Newcastle’s ridiculous £50m valuation for the 21-year-old, United pulled away from the deal.

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Benitez, who nurtured Longstaff into the first-team at Newcastle last year, believes the youngster has the ability to play for his national side in the future.

“What impressed me most was his commitment, he was very keen to learn, and everything you were saying to him he was trying to replicate on the pitch,” Benitez told the Athletic audience.

“I think that he was good for us and has a very good future ahead of him.

“I think he has the potential to play for England but we have to be careful when we talk to much about players and the national team. 

“He is humble, he’s a worker, but football can change quickly so I think it’s better to be sure he continues approaching the game thinking about the next one as the most important.”

United are desperately short in midfield options at the moment and Longstaff will certainly be one to look out for given Solskjaer is a known admirer.

He starred in Newcastle’s shock 1-0 away victory over Tottenham on Sunday and some have even compared him to a young Michael Carrick because of his style of play.

 

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