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Sean Longstaff red card shelves Declan Rice debate until April

Sean Longstaff is suspended for Newcastle United’s match against West Ham this weekend.

Last Sunday, Longstaff was shown a red card for a high challenge on Ruben Neves in the 1-1 draw with Wolves. This rules him out of Saturday’s meeting at The London Stadium.

This also postpones the social media debate surrounding Longstaff and Declan Rice. Newcastle fans started the debate last season, claiming that Longstaff was better than Rice and that he should be in the England squad ahead of him.

But Newcastle fans do not have the opportunity to present evidence for this point of view. Longstaff will miss the match against West Ham so he will not come face-to-face with Rice again.

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Rice settled score with last meeting

(Photo by Avril Husband/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

The Longstaff-Rice debate dominated the narrative ahead of West Ham’s last outing against Newcastle. The Hammers hosted Newcastle at The London Stadium in March with Rice and Longstaff facing off in midfield.

Both players had quite different afternoons. Rice settled the debate by scoring a header and contributing to a clean sheet as West Ham cruised to victory.

Longstaff, on the other hand, suffered an injury and didn’t feature again in the 2018/19 season. His form has only just picked up in the past month and he is now back to his levels of last season. But he won’t have a chance to show West Ham fans or Rice what he can do until the St James’ Park meeting in April.

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