Jonjo Shelvey’s return from his hamstring injury last week coincided with Bruce’s tactical change. The success of the formation, along with the presence of the playmaker, has provided Newcastle a boost to their attack.
The 28-year-old is ranked second in the club with 5 goals, just recently pipped by Miguel Almiron for the overall lead. The Athletic’s Chris Waugh has also cited some other statistics that show the importance of Shelvey to this year’s team.
Of Newcastle’s five midfielders, Shelvey has created twice as many chances as any of the others. His passes that end in the opposition third is also double that of Sean Longstaff, who ranks second.
Similarly to Allan Saint-Maximin, when Jonjo is on the pitch, Newcastle win more and score more. Newcastle average 1.4 points per game when Shelvey plays compared to 1 when he doesn’t. We also almost double our scoring average from .6 to 1.1 goals per game with Shelvey in the team.
On Friday, the club announced that both Jonjo and Matt Ritchie have extended their deals to 2023. This will keep both players at the club into their early 30s.
Chris Waugh reveals that sources have told him Newcastle have an option to add another year to Shelvey’s deal. He also says that it is not likely Shelvey accepted a pay cut to his over £70k/week wages.
Newcastle seems to have softened its strict stance on contract renewals with players approaching or past the age of 30. Hopefully, they’ll do the same with Matty Longstaff and get his Newcastle future secured as well.
We need to keep our leaders and promising youngsters at the club. Then add some quality this summer to push the team forward.