Jonjo Shelvey has been given a “kick up the backside” by the emergence of Matty Longstaff, according to Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce.
The £70,000-a-week midfielder [Spotrac] played a key role in the Magpies’ 3-2 win over West Ham last weekend, scoring the vital third goal.
And Bruce has opened up on how Shelvey has stepped up ever since the younger Longstaff brother broke into the side.
As quoted by the Daily Mail, he said: “He responded in the right way to being left out and trained the right way. The emergence of Matty has given him the kick up the backside he needed.
“We all know Jonjo is a very decent player. He set the standard last week and hopefully he will repeat that this week.”
Shelvey looked like a new player over the weekend. As well as his goal, which was stunning enough in its own right, he also managed a Whoscored rating of 8.12. For context, Kevin De Bruyne’s average rating for the season so far is 8.00. When Shelvey is on his game, there are few players who can pose the same kind of threat he does. Not only does he have the vision to unlock defences from that deep-lying quarterback role, but he also has the talent to execute things with precision. Against the Hammers he played three successful long balls, but he has it in his locker to be even more deadly than that with his distribution. Against Norwich City earlier in the season, he completed nine successful long passes. That range of distribution allows the Magpies to utilise the pace of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron more effectively, and could be key to them winning more matches.