It’s been a tough season for Jonjo Shelvey. He’s hardly played in 2019 due to injury, and in his absence, the emergence of Sean Longstaff has reduced the need for him in the first team. Sure, Shelvey and Longstaff are two very different players, but there’s only space for so many midfielders in one team; and at present, it’s Shelvey that is losing out.
However, Longstaff is currently injured, and that could open the door for Shelvey to step up to the plate.
After all, he’s still got a lot to offer this team. He’s got far more technical ability than Longstaff, and the club have missed his creativity and range of passing in recent weeks.
They’ve also missed his aggression and tenacity, and whilst Longstaff does provide some of that, Shelvey has become renowned for the attitude with which he approaches games.
The reality is that, at present, Shelvey may well be on borrowed time. A report in the Sun earlier this week indicated that a £20 million move to West Ham could be on the cards, and given his current role in the Newcastle first team, the Magpies would be foolish not to accept that.
However, if he manages to impress in the absence of Longstaff, that could all change. Let’s not forget, a year ago he was arguably one of Newcastle’s best players – and he hasn’t lost that talent overnight.
But he needs to start showing it, and he now may have the perfect platform. If he fails to step up, a departure makes sense for all concerned.