The 29-year-old midfielder certainly suffered something of a dip in form last season at Newcastle last season, as he saw his respective goals and assist tallies drop from six and two in all competitions in 2019/20 to just two and three in 2020/21, and he has found himself as not the most popular player amongst the fans up on Tyneside.
But speaking about him on NUFC Matters, Lowes was full of praise for the midfielder, saying that he is better and more important to the team than some people might think he is:
“I’ve never really understood why people have their problems. I know they call him lazy, but I think I’ve said in the past, I think he’s more languid. I think he’s one of those players who I think I compared him once to Chrissy Waddle.
“He doesn’t look like he’s putting it in, but believe me, if you play with him, and if you ask anyone in that side, would you rather have Jonjo Shelvey in your team, or do you think he’s a luxury? Every one of them will have him.
“So, you know, in that respect, a fit Jonjo Shelvey, who’s up for it, who wants to battle, who wants to pull the shirt on, is, for me, an absolute 100% starter. Because in that centre-midfield role, he does something that no one else does at this minute in time, and that’s pick a pass.”
TIF Thoughts on Mick Lowes’ comments about Jonjo Shelvey…
Should Shelvey be starting for NUFC?
Lowes’ points can also be backed up by this recent video from The Athletic, which dives into his style of play and points out just how integral he is to the Newcastle United side when it comes to his passing ability, and further justified by the fact that he led the Newcastle United team in passes per game last season with 46.7 (as per WhoScored).
So whilst he might not be the most liked player when it comes to the supporters, it is worth noting that he does play a vital role when it comes to how Steve Bruce’s side play and that he was actually their fifth-best player when it came to WhoScored rankings out of the entire squad.
Therefore, although things might have been bad for them last season as they drifted towards a relegation battle, it could have been a whole lot worse without the influence of Shelvey in the team, so perhaps that’s worth remembering for the Newcastle United fans.