It’s been a strange old season for Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, and one that has seen him slip as far down the pecking order at St James’ Park as he ever has.
The rise of youngster Sean Longstaff and the return to form of Isaac Hayden has limited his opportunities of late – as have injuries – but the England international proved he still has much to offer on Tyneside with a talismanic cameo against Everton last Saturday.
The former Swansea City man was only brought onto the field of play with about 10 minutes to go, but his impact was instantaneous. It’s no coincidence that the Magpies bagged the two goals that helped them turn a defeat into a victory once Shelvey had come on.
The midfielder’s display demonstrated why he remains such a fan favourite. His technical ability is out of this world and his passing is incredible, we saw that once again against the Toffees.
He drove the team forward in those final moments, providing added impetus to the Magpies attack. It was a sorely-needed reminder of just how influential the 27-year-old can be.
There are grumblings that this campaign could be the Englishman’s last on Tyneside. Indeed, The Sun reported earlier this month that West Ham United are set to sign him this summer in a £20million deal.
You can debate the merits of that move all you want, but what is undoubtable is that Shelvey still has much to offer Rafael Benitez’s team and that there is still time for him to save his ailing Magpies career.