Jonjo Shelvey has only just won his place back at Newcastle, so talk of them signing another midfielder is not what he’ll want to hear.
According to Sky Sports, Newcastle are interested in bringing Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka to St James’ Park in January. The Magpies reportedly want him on loan, and Steve Bruce hopes his friendship with Fabian Schar could help bring him to the North East.
The big stumbling block could be wages, with Xhaka currently earning £100k-a-week according to Spotrac.
Xhaka would be a marquee signing and a player with a point to prove with his Arsenal career now in tatters. He also has Euro 2020 to think about with Switzerland.
But while his arrival would certainly turn heads in Newcastle, it would mean bad news for Shelvey. When you compare both players, they’re very similar. Both love a long range pass, looking for the spectacular to unlock a defence from distance – a Hollywood pass if you will.
They’re confident with the ball at their feet and not afraid to get stuck in when they need to, which has led to both having disciplinary bother.
If Bruce is able to get Xhaka, it’s hard to see him playing alongside Shelvey. There needs to be a balance in the middle of the park, which is exactly what we’ve got right now with Shelvey playing alongside Isaac Hayden.
The former Liverpool and Swansea midfielder is currently competing for a new contract, and a major arrival like Xhaka would hinder Shelvey’s chances of earning a new deal.
Bruce may fancy bringing in Xhaka in January, but it would be to the detriment of one of his current players.