On 12th January 2016 Newcastle United announced the signature of Jonjo Shelvley for £12 Million from Swansea. A midfielder with natural talent and ability, but questionable attitude from every club in which he has played for. On his debut, a 2-1 win over West Ham 4 days later, he showed only the positives about his play which ended in him being named Man of the Match for his involvement in the build up play to both Newcastle goals.
Now we are in July 2016 and it is fair to say the last 6 months have been a rollercoaster for him at the club from rising to stand in Captain to being left on the bench the last few games of the season. While his attitude has never been questionable since joining some of his performances towards the end of the season were. But with the likes of Wijnaldum, Sissoko, De Jong and Tiote’s future very questionable at the club it gives Shelvey a chance to kick start his career in the beautiful Black and White Jersey!
Even if the 4 named above do depart the club there will still be strong competition for Shelvey to go up against to keep a starting place in the middle of the park this season. Antia, Saivet, Colback and our latest signing from Arsenal on a 5 year deal; Isaac Hayden – a 21 year old Central Defence Midfielder who helped guide Hull City back to the Premiership last season when he was out there on loan.
I personally believe that Shelvey can get back to his best and become a regular in the starting 11. A number of good performances in Pre Season, as a boost of confidence, could very well see him start on our first game of the season against Fulham on 5th August. Rafa may have only dropped him to the bench for a tactical purpose, to try all he could to keep us in the Premiership, but either way I would like to see him make the most of Shelvey’s talents which has gained him 6 International Caps for England.
In Rafa Benitez we trust – the Rafalution is here!