The 27-year-old has roared back to top form since being recalled to the Magpies team in recent weeks, helping lead the side to back-to-back victories over West Ham United and Bournemouth. Murphy is a big fan.
“One of the other factors – which I think some people agree or some people won’t agree – is that Shelvey is hugely important to that team,” he said on talkSPORT [12/11; 16:37].
“He’s not the most athletic in the world and there’s talk about ill discipline – which we’ve seen – but he’s a wonderful footballer and he gives them so much more creativity, and he’s been great the last couple of games.”
There’s no doubt that Shelvey has emerged, once again, as a key cog in the Newcastle machine over the past couple of games. It was a bit of a surprise when he was selected ahead of Matty Longstaff alongside Isaac Hayden against West Ham, but he rewarded Steve Bruce’s faith with a terrific, goalscoring display. He followed that up with another tremendous outing against Bournemouth last Saturday, and he really has provided the creativity that the Magpies were missing prior to his return to the line-up. He works well alongside Hayden, while French winger Allan Saint-Maximin has also been key to Newcastle’s improved offensive outings in recent weeks. As Murphy says, Shelvey has had problems with disciple in the past, while he’s not hugely athletically gifted. However, he has a wonderful footballing brain and is a magnificent passer of the ball. That’s been borne out over the past couple of games.