Macaulay Langstaff: Notts County striker gets 'ego boost' from transfer interest

Record-breaking striker Macaulay Langstaff is embracing the career and relishing the attention he never expected to have.

His all-time high 42 National League goals to help get Notts County promoted last season earned him the moniker of the 'non-league Haaland'.

Many have touted him to be the next Jamie Vardy - a player capable of leaping from the lower reaches of professional football to stardom in a single big money move.

Transfer rumours, links and speculation were intense over the summer, with clubs such as Ipswich Town, Plymouth Argyle and Bristol City reportedly lining up for his signature.

The 26-year-old admits all the attention was a nice "ego boost" for someone who was earning £40 appearance fees just eight years ago, but insists committing to Notts with a new four-year deal in August was "a no brainer".

"I can't quite believe where I came from to where I am now," Langstaff told BBC East Midlands Today.

"I never saw football as a career opportunity - I was 19 or 20 before I signed my first professional contact and before that I was just playing with my mates.

"There was a lot talk and speculation and a lot of people asked why I signed a new contact with the rumours going about, but it was just a case of being happy off the pitch and I'm so happy here.

"When I do see these articles linking me with top clubs it's nice for your ego, it's a bit of a boost. You came from the 11th tier of English football and now you are seeing your name linked with all these top clubs, it's brilliant.

"If you said to me four or five years ago that you would be at Notts County in League Two, having had the season I had and breaking records, I'd have said no chance.

"So to even be playing football as a living, earning money from it is a privilege in itself because I didn't expect that ever."

Macaulay Langstaff celebrates scoring for Notts County in League Two
Macaulay Langstaff is in his second season with Notts County

Langstaff, who would only joke about turning down Manchester City and Liverpool when pressed about what clubs he knocked back in the summer, has scored four goals in his first six games in the English Football League.

His double in Saturday's win against Accrington Stanley sent the Magpies top of League Two.

While he hasn't matched the six goals in six games he bagged at the start of last season - numbers which quickly saw him likened to Manchester City's Norwegian star Erling Haaland - Langstaff says he has shown himself to be a more complete player.

"I think I have started this season better," he said. "At this point, although I had six goals last season, my overall performances have been much better this season.

"I've developed as a player and learned so much. I'm offering a lot more to the team.

"Last year was all about goals and that's the way we played. This year you can see that I'm coming a little shorter, am linking the play a little more and my runs are a little smarter.

"I've fitted into the league - I think it suits me really well."

It took a record points tally of 111 for Wrexham to edge Notts for automatic promotion last term, with the Magpies going up after winning the promotion final against Chesterfield on penalties at Wembley.

Four wins in a five-game unbeaten run after starting life back in League Two with a 5-1 defeat at Sutton has got the East Midlands side daring to talk of another promotion bid.

"Our expectation is promotion," Langstaff said.

"People shy away from saying that because they don't want too much expectation on themselves. Notts as a club has expectations of itself, so it doesn't matter if we are saying that we will promoted or not, there will be pressure from the fans and everywhere.

"We have spoken about it and we want to be promoted."