The former Newcastle manager was pleased to see Matty Longstaff score for the club at the weekend.

Former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez thinks the emergence of Sean and Matty Longstaff is evidence that the Magpies should invest heavily in their youth academy set-up, writing in his personal blog this week.

As reported by The Evening Chronicle, one of the reasons Benitez is said to have left the club in the summer is because of disagreement on the direction of Newcastle’s academy.

The paper say it was a major point of contention for the Spaniard.

After Matty Longstaff’s goal on his Premier League debut against Manchester United, Benitez believes good investment could result in talents like him coming through regularly.

Writing in his blog, Benitez said: “I was really pleased to see Matty Longstaff scoring the winning goal for Newcastle; he was great when he was training with us and it was a good decision from Steve Bruce to make him play.

“I was also happy to see a few Geordies playing together at the same time; Carroll, Sean and Matty; surely it shouldn’t be difficult to see the benefits of investing in the Academy?

“£4m every year for 10 years means £40m (one player); one ‘Longstaff’ every year for ten years seems good business to me.”

Newcastle’s future direction

Newcastle are unlikely to ever be a club that can compete financially with the super elite sides in England and around Europe, certainly with any self-sufficiency.

Benitez’s vision of a functional academy that can really add quality to the first-team squad and eventually result in huge profit is certainly something they should be exploring, even though he’s now gone.

A £4m per year investment doesn’t sound extreme for a club of Newcastle’s standing. If a proper football man like Benitez thinks that could provide massive rewards, it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t let it happen.

There’s two sides to every story, but the fan favourite clearly continues to have an interest in Newcastle and didn’t miss with his point this week.

In other news, Italian thinks Rangers player ‘could be a big success’ at Serie A club