The relationship between Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and former boss Rafael Benitez wasn’t always plain sailing, to say the least.
Shelvey is clearly one of the Premier League’s biggest mysteries in recent seasons, with the England international failing to make much of an impact at St James’ Park in his limited game.
The 27-year-old only managed to make 10 starts in the top-flight last season under Benitez, and his career hasn’t reached the heights that were suggested when he made his debut for Liverpool in 2010.
With Steve Bruce now having spent a couple of weeks in charge of the Magpies, the chance that Shelvey was surely screaming for has arrived – with the Daily Mail reporting that the new boss is preparing a new deal for the midfield maestro.
Shelvey is surely prepared for a leading role next season and will be more than prepared to prove Benitez wrong for not putting as much faith in him the season before.
The 27-year-old is currently the highest earner at Newcastle, earning £70,000 per-week according to Spotrac, with a new deal surely set to cement his spot as the marquee player in terms of earnings at St James’ Park.
In the heart of a potential midfield three alongside Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff, Shelvey could surely strive. The battling duo will do the majority of the defensive work which will allow Shelvey to sit as an anchor once in possession and control the pace of the game with his passing.
The midfielder averaged 59.9 passes per 90 minutes last season, averaging 34.3 accurate short passes. On top of that, the experienced maestro also averaged 2.4 key passes in the same amount of time, with 1.4 of those being short balls on top of a singular key long pass [Source: WhoScored].
When Shelvey controls a game with his tempo and ability to read the pattern of the contest, there isn’t many better and the midfielder is surely set to prove Rafa wrong for not playing him as much last season.