When Jonjo Shelvey was touted as a potential signing for Newcastle, I thought that it sounded far too sensible for us, given our recent transfer record.
Then when it became obvious we were actually tracking him, I didn’t think we’d land him because Swansea would not want to sell (regardless of his recent poor form at the time) – and definitely not to a relegation rival.
So, pleasantly surprised when the deal actually came off.
Once Shelvey moved to Swansea I thought he matured technically and began showing more of what he promised at Liverpool due to playing regular football. I’ve always rated him as a very good Premier League midfielder ever since.
His passing is always crisp, he has great technique, he always looks forward when possible and has a cracking shot on him.
I think he’s slotted in at Newcastle brilliantly, showing all of the qualities we’ve been lacking. Granted he hasn’t been at his best during his two away games but he still managed to notch an assistant against Watford and clipped over a couple of quality forward passes against Everton which we didn’t make the most of. Against West Brom he ran the show and while the opposition were really poor, Shelvey still executed some brilliant passes.
The great thing as well is that he should only get better. I think he has the potential to be our midfield general for the next 10 years and in hindsight I think Liverpool made a mistake selling him, especially when Gerrard’s retirement was not too far away. Yes he does need to watch his temperament and not allow himself to be wound up by the opposition, as he has been at times in the past. And yes it has only been four games so far, but there’s enough justified criticism when things have been going wrong at the club, so I think it’s only right to give praise when it’s due.
If Jonjo Shelvey continues to impress he will be in contention for the Euros with England and if he does take part in that competition, it will only make him a better player.
I think also, if the midfielder continues to impress it will lend more weight to signing further proven players and proven talent who have ideally played in the Premier League.
Cheick Tiote has been a surprise bonus, given a good platform for Shelvey to express himself. I think Swansea could end up regretting their decision come the end of the season but it is also down to McClaren to make sure he gets the best out of the squad from now until the end of the season.
Even though the defence still needs strengthening, there is surely enough talent in that squad to pull away from the bottom three.
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