Date: 14th April 2019 at 6:00pm
Written by:

OPINION

Anybody would hate to be in Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’s shoes right now after the season he has had.

You have to feel a little bit of sympathy for the 27-year-old after the way injury has plagued his game time and ravaged his chances of getting back into the starting XI – even with Sean Longstaff sidelined himself, he has still found it hard to worm his way back in.

Rafa Benitez has preferred either Mo Diame or Ki sung-yueng to play alongside Isaac Hayden in Longstaff’s absence, and at the moment, neither player are really asking any questions with their performances.

Ki was given the nod over his teammate in the 1-0 win over Leicester on Friday, and suffice to say that he was a shadow of the energetic player who wowed us back in November – he was woeful.

With Diame not playing at his best either, it makes complete sense for the manager to unleash Shelvey against Southampton next Saturday. There is no better opportunity for the 2016 signing to get some minutes under his belt is there?

Benitez has snubbed the former Swansea man on numerous occasions now, with his most recent display coming against Crystal Palace last weekend as a substitute. Just when will the Spaniard realise that Shelvey is his best option at the moment?

He has not really been given a fair chance to redeem himself after the amount of games he has missed this term, so it would only be wise to hand him that on Saturday.

Surely Benitez would like to have more options in his midfield than not? It is a no-brainer really.

Shelvey’s decline has been a shame to witness this season, so Benitez must be bold and start him next weekend.