Jonjo Shelvey is going through a bad time of it at Newcastle and this year he is finding trouble getting any playing time in the first team.
With Sean Longstaff having come through the ranks this season and looking really good in central midfield it’s even been noted that Rafa could sell Jonjo in the summer.
West Ham are said to be interested at £20M although in recent days their interest has been played down in the press.
Rafa will get around £50M this summer to spend plus anything he gets from selling players like Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Joselu and others this summer.
Rafa Benitez talks to Jonjo Shelvey
With the excellent results and performance last time out at Leicester City, it’s unlikely Jonjo will get a start at home to Southampton although he may get on as a sub.
That’s even with Sean out injured and out of the side for several weeks now.
This is what Rafa said yesterday in his press conference when asked about the England International:
“The priority for me is what? To win games.”
“He (Jonjo) is training well. Like all the team, he’s training well. But I do not want to answer if I will give opportunities to this one or the other one.”
“Some people can then say he is doing this or dong that.”
“The thing is just to concentrate on getting three points, and, after that, think about Brighton.”
“A lot of players are thinking about what is going on. They do not know if I will stay, so they can be ‘oh’, but they still have to keep working hard.”
“If you want to have some credit, what do you have to do? Give interviews? Write articles?”
“No, work hard and win. That’s it.”
Rafa is right about that – winning games is all important, and the mood on Tyneside seems to fluctuate depending on how we have done in our last game.
Beating Southampton at St. James’ Park is all that matters now.
We should be able to get a win against the Saints tomorrow, but they are also a team in form and have won three of their last four games.