Jonjo Shelvey has had a tough season, but you can’t question his attitude.
The last time he played for Newcastle was the FA Cup third round clash with Blackburn, coming off the bench in the 1-1 draw.
Since then, he’s been out with a thigh injury, while Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff have built up an incredible partnership. Things were already tough for Shevley, with Mo Diame and Ki Sung-Yueng starting ahead of him earlier in the season.
And with first-team opportunities limited on his return from injury, Shelvey has made a commendable request to Rafa Benitez.
Shelvey wants to play for the Under-23s
Ahead of the game with West Ham, Benitez commented on who is available. Before confirming that Ciaran Clark and Rob Elliot are still out, the manager discussed one of his key players last season.
“Jonjo Shelvey has asked to play for the Under-23s, so he will play for the Under-23s tonight,” Benitez told the club’s official website.
“It means he’s pushing in the right direction.”
The reserve side take on Fulham Under-23s this evening away from home, and it is a testament to Shelvey’s character that he wants to make the journey down south.
He needs to get minutes under his belt, but he won’t be getting them in the first-team any time soon.
The 27-year-old can still be a key player for Newcastle. But he must be patient.
No one in the Newcastle squad can find a pass like Shelvey, but it would be disruptive to put him straight back into a midfield that are performing well without him.
Hopefully he can get his match fitness back while playing for the Under-23s, and his decision will no doubt earn some brownie points from the gaffer.