As the season has progressed Jonjo Shelvey has become an important component for Newcastle United. Since the arrival of Eddie Howe, he’s been a man reborn.
In an early press conference, Howe sang the praises of what he saw of the Englishmen in training. At the time some Newcastle fans would’ve questioned the comments made by the Magpies boss. He was sent off in Steve Bruce’s last game in charge against Tottenham Hotspur.
Fast forward to April and those supporters will definitely retract their previous thoughts on the midfielder. Shelvey is showcasing the talent he’s shown in glimpses at times in the past.
Every Newcastle victory has come when Shelvey is in the starting XI
Newcastle are yet to win a game this season when Shelvey hasn’t started. That highlights how integral he is to the Toon midfield.
Before the defeat to Spurs and victory over Wolves, the Magpies average 1.6 points a game with Shelvey. Without him, they only averaged 0.3 points. His long-range passing is a big component of Newcastle’s attacking play.
The best example of this was their last fixture against Wolves. Shelvey would very often play the ball from deep and pick out the likes of Chris Wood. It kickstarted a number of the Toon’s attacking moves.
It was a deserved three points against Wolves with Shelvey and Bruno Guimaraes being just some of the stand-out performers. The duo look to have cemented their places into the side. That leaves Joelinton, Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff fighting to prove they deserve that third spot in the middle of the park.
Newcastle host Leicester next and Shelvey will look to once again play his part as they search for another home win. They might be clear of the relegation zone by 10 points but they can still fight for a spot in the top half. Just six points separate 15th and 9th place.