News today that Alan Pardew is interested in signing Jonjo Shelvey for Crystal Palace, just like he was interested in signing the former Charlton player when he was the Newcastle manager, but couldn’t get Graham Carr and Lee Charnley to agree to buy him.
Shelvey started his career well at Newcastle – well at least in the first game at home to West Ham on 16th January – when he looked majestic stroking the ball around in midfield in the 2-1 win.
In that game he looked like the player we had been missing since Yohan Cabaye was allowed to leave in January of 2014 and was never replaced.
Jonjo Shelvey when Newcastle captain at Leicester
Rafa’s first game in charge of Newcastle United
But Jonjo is inconsistent and when Rafa Benitez came in the new manager he complained of his Hollywood passes and benched the England International, although he did bring him on in future games as a substitute.
Rafa stripped him of the captaincy and surprisingly gave it to that would be Champions League player – Moussa Sissoko.
And Jonjo had also been full of praise for Rafa since he arrived saying that he put a smile on players’ faces and they look forward to training.
Here’s what Jonjo said the day before our last game against Spurs – before we took them apart 5-1:
“Rafa has come in and done a great job.” “He’s been superb and every single one of the players are working their socks off in training.”
“It has been about coming together and getting three points in games.” “He has instilled togetherness in the squad.”
“Everyone was coming into training with a smile on their face which is what you want.” “That has seen us through the last few weeks in terms of getting results.”
“We have hung out in games and seen games out.”
There’s a very good player in there with Jonjo, but if there is interest in the player this summer, it’s a good question as to whether Rafa would sell the 24 year-old.
Jonjo has already said he wants to stay on Tyneside and that may because his wages are said to be a massive £80K/week, so if Jonjo was sold we could save a lot on the wage bill.
But with Rafa in charge the squad is more important than money in the bank and Jonjo could really be a star in the Companionship next season for us and help get Newcastle straight back to the Premier League – which is the plan.
Alan Pardew was the Charlton manager back in 2008 when he gave Shelvey his debut as a precocious 16 year-old, so Alan knows all about the skills of the former Liverpool midfielder, who Rafa signed in 2010 just before he left The Reds.
We’d like Jonjo to stay at the club and let Rafa work on whatever he sees as his weaknesses.
If Jonjo listens to the Spanish manager he can improve his game – and from the positive things Jonjo has said about the manager – he also seems to understand that.
What do you think?