Jonjo Shelvey is in talks over a new contract at Newcastle, but is reportedly open to a move to China, if things do not work out as he hopes on Tyneside.
Shelvey – reportedly on a whopping £80,000 a week at Newcastle – divides opinion, with his attitude often questioned by fans, even though when he is on top of his game he is a match winner.
The last two games is a prime example of what is so frustrating about the former Liverpool and Swansea midfielder, with the pair of performances showing both sides of him.
At West Ham, he was superb. Both he and Isaac Hayden outshone England’s Declan Rice, and Shelvey put in a midfield masterclass, with him finding players all around the pitch, while scoring a free-kick and hitting the bar from distance.
So fans expected – and rightly so – more of the same against Bournemouth on Saturday. What they got, however, was an insipid display, where Shelvey went missing for long spells, and did not look the same player from the previous week.
It is precisely this hot and cold form that should see Newcastle forget about offering him a new deal, and make him available to other clubs in January.
Shelvey cannot be trusted to bring his best game every week
For a side to be successful, a manager must be able to trust those players he selects to do the job they are asked to. Yet with Shelvey, it is impossible to know which persona is going to turn up.
Once Sean Longstaff returns from suspension, he is likely to oust Shelvey from the starting lineup again, so the next game against Aston Villa really will be a big test of his character.
Shelvey may, of course, have been playing with a point to prove at West Ham, with him supporting the club as a boy, but he cannot only show his best form in games like that.
He is too unreliable, and as such, should be sold, and any fee Newcastle receive, can be reinvested in the squad to bring in a player who will put a full shift in every week, without needing extra incentives to shine.