In-form midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has vowed to repay the faith the club and Rafa Benitez has put in him over the past few years, revealing that he’d like to remain at Newcastle United for ‘many years’ to come.
The 26-year-old may have missed out on Gareth Southgate’s England squads recently, but his form in black and white has been exemplary – gaining many admirers in the media along the way.
He’s not been in the referee’s notebook since the turn of the year, there’s clear signs of improved fitness levels, his performances have been much more measured (on and off the ball) and he’s also been involved in goals -scoring one and assisting two in his last three games.
He recently admitted that he ‘wasn’t fit enough’ when he first arrived at the club back in 2016, however he’s clearly keen to give back to the club that signed him for £12m over two years ago.
Here’s what he’s had to say when speaking to NUFC TV:
“When Rafa (Benitez) came to the club, he chopped and changed and I found myself out of the team,”
“But I went away that summer and got myself properly fit and came back with a totally different attitude in terms of trying to learn from him.”
“He signed me for Liverpool, but I never actually got to work with him.
“It was more a case of wanting to stay here and get this club back to the Premier League, because they paid a lot of money.
“So it was about returning the favour, and hopefully I can stay here for many years now.”
West Ham showed serious interest in bringing him to the London Stadium back in January, but Benitez never looked likely to let him go – and it’s just as well.
He’s been brilliant over the past few months and really does seem to be maturing as a player.
He’s one of few players in this Newcastle squad who possesses genuine quality and his development under Rafa Benitez is great to see. They are a match made in heaven – a player oozing with technical ability and a manage who is trying to harness that talent the best way he can.
Hopefully he can continue to develop, stay on track and become the consistent performer we know he has the ability to be at NUFC.