While there is sense in the signings of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, a £30m approach by Manchester United for Newcastle’s young central midfielder has little going for it.
Perhaps it's a different sort of nostalgia project. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s bid to reconnect Manchester United to their glory days is incorporating ever more players who are too young to remember his finest moment.
But adding Longstaff makes rather less sense, and not merely because a mooted £30 million price for a player with eight Premier League starts feels excessive to say the least. It has the feel of the United premium Jose Mourinho sometimes used to bemoan.
Admittedly, the last midfielder from Tyneside that United signed didn't do too badly: Michael Carrick made 464 appearances, won five league titles, appeared in three Champions League finals and ended up as captain.
More pertinently, United are two midfielders down in 2019 already, with Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera leaving. Given Paul Pogba’s wanderlust, that could become three.
And yet, if there are vacancies to fill, none of that renders Longstaff the right candidate – and not merely because it would be unfair to charge a rookie with replacing Pogba or because, should one be wanted, no one is a duplicate Fellaini.