Jonjo Shelvey is not a man who has commonly featured in the Premier League so far during the 2019/20 season, yet that could be set to change very soon if he can put on a show this weekend. The midfield man may have struggled for game time under Steve Bruce, but there’s a glaring hole in midfield now.
Against Wolves in the Geordies’ last Premier League clash, midfield man Sean Longstaff was given his marching orders and will now miss three games after catching Ruben Neves with a high tackle in the 82nd minute of the 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Those three games he’s set to miss will have him watching on as he side take on West Ham away, Bournemouth at home before the international break before a trip to Aston Villa when the Premier League returns, giving Shelvey plenty of time in midfield to show what he can do.
The former Liverpool man has got all of the talent to run the midfield in a Premier League game, but this season we’ve only seen him feature on a handful of occasions, as he’s made just five league appearances and accumulated just 312 minutes.
However, looking at the midfielder’s stats from years gone by is very telling. Last season under Rafa Benitez, Shelvey’s numbers were certainly impressive. In his 16 league appearances he was averaging 1.4 tackles per game defensively and 1.4 shots and 1.6 key passes per game going forward (WhoScored).
The numbers are certainly promising, and whilst we’re not expecting Shelvey to come into the side for the next three games and completely turn the club’s fortunes around, having his passing range in midfield coupled with the runners in front of him in the form of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin could prove to be a deadly combination.