Jonjo Shelvey is set to sign a new contract at Newcastle, according to the Northern Echo, but the club should resist the temptation to offer it to him immediately.
The phrase ‘one swallow does not make a summer’ comes to mind, and it should be used for Premier League midfield performances too.
I wrote previous articles urging Newcastle to sell Shelvey, particularly in light of his early season form, which was, frankly, awful.
I am big enough to admit, however, that the former Liverpool player was superb at West Ham, and looked like the hungry player that arrived at the club in January 2016.
But a contract offer should not be determined on one game alone, and negotiations are likely to have been ongoing for a number of weeks, which begs the question: What, from his pre-West Ham form, made Newcastle decide a new contract was warranted?
Newcastle need to know which Jonjo Shelvey is signing the new deal
If Steve Bruce could guarantee we would see the Shelvey from Saturday consistently, a new deal would be a logical decision.
But what if we get the ‘other’ Shelvey? The one that looks uninterested during many games. The one that cannot find a decent pass all game. The one that seems to sulk when things are not going well.
That Shelvey is the one we have seen more often than not recently. And that Shelvey does not deserve a contract extension.
So if that performance on Saturday is how Shelvey plays when trying to earn a new deal, would it not make sense to hold off for a few weeks, and see if he can maintain those levels?
If he can prove he can play like that consistently, then I will gladly run to St James’ Park and offer him my pen to sign the contract with.