Unemployed former Newcastle star who ‘lived the dream’ at boyhood club finally finds new team after eight months

FORMER Newcastle star Matty Longstaff looks to be closing in on a return to football.

The midfielder, 23, is close to signing for MLS side Toronto FC, according to reports.

Longstaff says being a Newcastle player showed him how you could go from ‘the top to the bottom’ in footballPA:Empics Sport

Longstaff has been without a club this season after he was released by Newcastle last summer.

The midfielder burst on the scene in October 2019 with a debut man of the match display and only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

He was only earning £850-a-week at the time and had the likes of Inter Milan and Marseille squabbling to sign him after his dramatic rise.

But recurrent injury problems saw him drop out of the Newcastle first-team in subsequent seasons.

Unsuccessful loan spells to Aberdeen and League Two clubs Mansfield Town and Colchester followed between 2021 and 2023 as he tried to rediscover his form.

But Newcastle eventually cut their losses last summer and released the midfielder.

He spoke to SportBible in October last year as he reflected on his experience with his boyhood club, saying: “You go from being at the top to the bottom. I guess me and Sean [Matty’s brother] have both experienced that.

“When Sean first came through at Newcastle, he was flying. He was being talked about everywhere and then suddenly he was at the bottom and that was similar to me.

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“I came through, did really well and then I was sent out on loan before ending up down at the bottom.

“It’s football. It’s just one of those things. You have your highs and lows.

“When I was breaking through, I was at the top and at the minute, I’m probably at the bottom with the injury and things but I guess when you’re there, there’s only one place you can go.

“I’m really motivated to get back. I want to be a top player.”

And now, the Daily Mail report that he will have the chance to do that in Canada with Toronto FC.

The report says that the transfer came about after he finally recovered from his latest injury – which he has overcome with the help of Newcastle’s medical team, despite no longer being a member of the club.

Longstaff opened up on his attempts to recover from injury in his SportBible interview, saying: “The club have been unbelievable with me throughout.

“They have allowed me to stay around the place to do all my rehab, which means I’ve got top physios looking after me every day. If I need extra help on the pitch, the staff will always be there.

“They’ll often ask how I’m getting on mentally, as well, and still treat me like I’m one of their players.

“It just shows how good they are as human beings. They’ve all played the game and had injuries. They know what it’s like.”

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