Eddie Howe says one Newcastle transfer was '99%' out of his hands
Eddie Howe names the player he didn't want to leave Newcastle
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Eddie Howe names the player he didn't want to leave Newcastle

Naturally, the focus at Newcastle United in the post-takeover era has been on players coming into the club.

After a takeover of such magnitude, that was always going to happen. Rumours mills start to churn at the sound of more investment and, for the most part, incomings have largely been the story at St James’ Park since October 2021.

Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexander Isak and Sven Botman are the headline examples of course but another key part of squad evolution is players leaving.

We’ve already seen the likes of Dwight Gayle and Ciaran Clark – two pillars of the Championship winning team – depart while Matt Ritchie is out of contract this summer.

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At some point, such members of the squad will have to call time on their Newcastle careers as the club look to overhaul their playing squad.

Eddie Howe did not want Jonjo Shelvey to leave

Still, there was one man of that ilk Eddie Howe was not keen seen to leave.

Jonjo Shelvey ended his often turbulent Newcastle career in January and joined Nottingham Forest.

A key player for Howe when he took over from Steve Bruce, injuries had denied Shelvey much of a run at all this season.

However, the Magpies boss has revealed he did not want to see the six-cap England international leave.

“Yeah we are light in midfield,” Howe told The Chronicle.

“But I don’t think it was a risk and it wasn’t a decision I wanted to take. It wasn’t a pre-meditated decision for me to say, ‘let’s do this and take this risk’. It was 99% out of my hands that Jonjo was going to leave.

“We sort of feel a bit of a hole left with his presence gone. But it’s happened and now we have to make the best of the situation.”

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Shelvey’s exit leaves Newcastle light

With no new midfielder coming in to replace Shelvey, Howe is certainly short of options.

Without the 31-year-old sitting deep, Guimaraes has to occupy that position for much of the season, denying the Brazilian of his favoured role and, crucially, the team of much of his box-to-box energy.

The Brazilian, compatriot Joelinton, Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock are the only senior options in the middle of the park in what is usually a 4-3-3 system.

While Shelvey had hardly featured before his exit, that does not allow much margin for injuries.