BBC pundit Garth Crooks has claimed that Magpies maestro Jonjo Shelvey can be as good as ‘any midfielder in the country’.
Crooks also added that the former Liverpool and Swansea man will look back on his career with regret after failing to win a single England cap since 2015, feeling he has always had the ability to have achieved much more.
Shelvey, who has been capped 6 times for his country, was instrumental in our 3-2 win over West Ham at the weekend and has earned praise for a performance which featured a superb 30-yard free-kick.
Here is what Crooks had to say after including Jonjo ins his Premier League team of the week:
“This player will look back on his career and genuinely wonder why he never won more caps for England.
On his day he can be as good as any midfield player in the country, but his fitness levels have always been a cause for concern along with the potential to cause mischief.
Against West Ham, Shelvey demonstrated just how effective he can be on the ball.
The dilemma for Magpies manager Steve Bruce is: does he stick with Shelvey or return to those who can regularly provide the grit and the endeavour?
If Bruce wants the credit Rafa Benitez received from the Newcastle fans, he will need to get those decisions right first.”
I’ve said it in a previous piece that Shelvey is our most talented midfield player. A spell on the sidelines seems to have done him the world of good to re-motivate him, so fair play to Bruce for bringing him back in.
However, what has plagued Shelvey’s career is consistency and discipline issues. At periods throughout a season, he can find himself in and out of the team and struggling for form, with fans at times questioning his commitment and fitness levels.
Garth Crooks makes a valid point regarding the big decision Bruce will have to make soon – does he stick with a technical Shelvey or return to the hard working Longstaff brothers once Sean is back from suspension? It’s a no brainer for me on Saturday, Shelvey has to start as his ability to dictate a game from midfield will be key against Bournemouth.
It was an impressive performance against West Ham on his debut back in 2016, showing Newcastle fans just how good a player Jonjo Shelvey can be, and after another impressive performance against the Hammers at the weekend, everyone at the club is hoping that this is the start of a good run of form for the former England international.