The midfielder has struggled for minutes, with his last Premier League start coming in the January defeat to Manchester United.
The emergence of Sean Longstaff and the rebirth of Isaac Hayden meant Shelvey’s absence didn’t matter. And prior to that, Mo Diame and Ki Sung-Yueng struck up a great partnership of their own to keep the former Liverpool man out of the team.
He was linked with a move to West Ham in January, and once again there is talk of the 27-year-old leaving St James’ Park for the London Stadium.
Selling Shelvey would be a risk
He is one of three centre-midfielders who face uncertain futures at the club.
Despite his brilliant form, Hayden has made it clear for a while that he wants to leave Newcastle for family reasons. He wants to be there for his daughter, but his professionalism after not getting a move has been admirable.
Then there is Diame. His contract expires this summer, and it is still unclear whether the 31-year-old will be handed an extension. He’s been linked with a move abroad, with some Premier League clubs also monitoring his situation.
If both those players leave, as well as Shelvey, then we are leaving ourselves with a massive rebuilding job in the centre of the park. Too big a job, in fact.
When you look at the three players who could leave, Shelvey is the easiest one to keep. He has a contract until the summer of 2021, and has made no noises that he needs to leave the club for whatever reason.
While minutes have been limited, a chance may come his way soon enough and it is up to him to take it. That’s exactly what happened to Longstaff.
We don’t have another player who can do what Shelvey does with a ball at his feet. He has his flaws, but letting him go could certainly come back to haunt us.
It is a risk not worth taking, especially with Hayden and Diame’s futures unclear.