Liverpool sealed a decent bit of business on Friday, extending the contract of 19-year-old winger Luis Longstaff until 2022, having joined from Newcastle’s academy back in 2015 as a 14-year-old.
The youngster is tipped as a potential future star for Liverpool, one who can continue his rise through the club’s academy and into the first team. The next two years could be crucial for the Englishman, as he shows his worth on Merseyside.
After his latest contract extension, here are five things you should know about Liverpool’s Longstaff.
Longstaff Made His Senior Debut This Season
The 2019/20 season will be one Longstaff always remembers, having made his first-team debut for Liverpool last December. The Reds faced fixture congestion when the first team was in Qatar for the Club World Cup, as they had a Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa within hours.
While Jürgen Klopp’s side went out to the Middle East, Neil Critchley and his youth players went down to Villa Park. It was Liverpool’s youngest ever starting XI, one which included five first team debutants – including Longstaff, who started up front.
It was a memorable occasion for Longstaff, though not because of the result. Aston Villa ran out emphatic 5-0 winners to reach the semi-finals, with goals from Conor Hourihane, Jonathan Kodija, Wesley and an unfortunate own goal from 18 year old Morgan Boyes.
He Has Represented England at Youth Level
During his youth career, Longstaff has earned five caps for England across two different youth levels. He made his first appearance in November 2016 for the Under-16 side, going on to play four times for the Three Lions at that level.
A year later, he earned his first cap for the Under-17 side, starting on the right wing in a 3-2 win over Portugal. He hasn’t represented his country since, though he may well be back in the English setup within the next few years.
Longstaff Looks Up to Roberto Firmino
As a Liverpool forward, it’s not surprising to know who Longstaff looks up to. He has previously spoken of his admiration for Roberto Firmino, who is the Reds’ third top scorer this season with 11 goals in 43 appearances.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Longstaff said: “I look at Firmino and he is a player that I take a lot of inspiration from. I have tried to model my game similar to how he plays. I’ve had a couple of times training with him and when you get that chance to go up there, you’ve just got to watch the people that play in your position.”
He added: “You can’t be starstruck by them and you just have to see them as a teammate and learn as much as you can from them. You can also learn a lot from what the manager and his coaching staff say.”
Only Curtis Jones Has More Under-23 Goals This Season
Longstaff has spent the majority of the season with Liverpool’s Under-23 side, making 11 appearances for them in the Premier League 2. He has made a positive impact for the Reds, with four goals and two assists throughout the campaign as they sit fifth in the table.
He is their second-best scorer this season, with only captain Curtis Jones ahead of him on nine goals. Longstaff will be looking to pick up where he left off before football’s suspension, with two goals and one assist in his last three appearances.
Longstaff Is a Versatile Attacking Player
A talented attacker, one of Longstaff’s most notable traits is his versatility across the final third of the pitch. He has played in three different positions this season, operating primarily as a centre forward – the position from which he has scored most of his goals.
As well as leading the line for Liverpool, Longstaff has played on the right wing, where he has two goal contributions in four games this season. He can even play as an attacking midfielder, playing the full 90 minutes there in a 1-0 UEFA Youth League defeat to Genk.