The Chronicle’s Newcastle editor Aaron Stokes thinks that Jonjo Shelvey is the most likely to be affected should the Magpies sign a midfielder this summer.
Speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, Stokes was discussing the situation regarding Newcastle’s engine room, and although happy with the current options at Eddie Howe’s disposal, the journalist feels that it will be Shelvey to make way should a new name arrive.
With eight centre-midfielders already at the club including Joelinton, the Toon appear relatively equipped in that area of the pitch, but as seen by the arrival of Bruno Guimaraes, there is a different level of class out there for PIF to pick from.
According to the Daily Mirror, Southampton ace James Ward-Prowse is attracting ‘admirers’ at St James’ Park, while L’Equipe (via Chronicle Live) have claimed that Lyon maestro Lucas Paqueta wishes to leave the French outfit this summer, with the wantaway midfielder previously linked with a move to Tyneside.
Does Jonjo Shelvey have a future at NUFC?
Commenting on Newcastle’s crop of central players at present, Stokes had this to say:
“I think they’re absolutely fine.
“But it’s so tempting, isn’t it, when you’ve got Paqueta and all those big, fancy names linked.
“I do agree, if push comes to shove and they get another top-class midfielder, then I think Shelvey’s the one of the three [in the starting XI] to drop out.
“Joelinton has been too good in that new role and Bruno’s obviously the first name on the teamsheet, so it’s a headache for Howe, but it’s a good one to have, and it’s one we haven’t had in a long time.”
TIF Thoughts on Shelvey and Newcastle…
It is indeed a nice headache for Howe to contend with, but considering Shelvey, who Howe even called ‘incredible’, made 20 appearances under the manager – putting him just behind Joelinton for midfielders – the head coach could hold the 30-year-old in higher regard than we assume.
Of players to play 20 games or more for the club last season, he maintained the sixth-highest average match rating (WhoScored) and was hailed by West Ham great Frank McAvennie for his “turnaround” in form during the second half of the campaign.
However, with his contract expiring at the end of the upcoming season, his future in the north-east does still remain in doubt after 197 matches in black and white, having signed for the club back in 2016 for £12m.