A number of players are expected to be offered new deals at Newcastle this season, but news that Steve Bruce is pushing to give Jonjo Shelvey an extended contract is concerning.
During the Chronicle’s question and answer article on Wednesday, Newcastle reporter Mark Douglas revealed talks are either already taking place, or are about to, with various players, but that Bruce is trying to ensure that Shelvey will be one of them.
Let’s be blunt about this, Shelvey does not deserve a new deal, and has been so poor, that the club should be telling his agent to find another club for him in January.
If Bruce insists that Shelvey’s should get a new deal on Tyneside, it could prove to be his biggest mistake since becoming Newcastle boss.
Douglas does add that there are complications over a deal for the former Liverpool and Swansea man – as well as Matt Ritchie – due to age.
But while no fan would deny Ritchie warrants being an exception to the age issue, the same cannot be said of Shelvey.
Shelvey will be 28 by time the season ends, and a new deal now would likely take him past his 30th birthday, meaning any sell-on value after that would be minimal.
The same could be said of Ritchie, of course, who turned 30 last month, but with his style and energy levels, Newcastle could realistically get two or three more years out of him – which would be worth more to the club than a £5-10 million transfer fee.
Shelvey’s form and attitude does not deserve a new contract
Shelvey has looked uninterested and lazy during most of his time on the pitch this season, and his top ability – finding players with telling passses – has deserted him.
If Bruce is genuinely pushing for a new deal for him after what he has witnessed on the pitch so far, it would appear to be more of a ‘thank you’ to Shelvey, for having his back and sticking up for him during a difficult perios for the head coach.
At times when Bruce’s appointment was being openly criticised by fans, Shelvey was giving interviews, pleading the new manager’s case.
If that is what it takes to get a new contract at Newcastle these days, then, yes, Shelvey would definitely be at the front of the queue.