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Official Premier League site produces compelling stats on Jonjo Shelvey value to Newcastle United

3 years ago
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A rollercoaster season for Jonjo Shelvey.

Everything from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Recent performances against Manchester United and others have had both Newcastle fans and neutrals asking how can Gareth Southgate ignore him?

However, much of the season has been average at best for Jonjo Shelvey, with odd moments of total stupidity.

On bare statistics, it makes his season look even worse. No goals and no assists until the two against Southampton in the last Premier League match.

Thing is though, these headline stats don’t always tell the full story. Much like last season when five goals and eight assists in the Championship only scratched the surface.

With only 48 days now until the end of the season, the official Premier League website has focused on Jonjo Shelvey and his absolute importance to Newcastle playing well.

They have put together the following stats for Newcastle United this season:

Accurate Long Balls:

99 Jonjo Shelvey

67 Florian Lejeune

61 Ciaran Clark

Through Balls:

12 Jonjo Shelvey

10 Ayoze Perez

6 Mikel Merino

Forward Passes:

397 Jamaal Lascelles

383 Jonjo Shelvey

348 Ciaran Clark

Successful Final Third Passes:

209 Matt Ritchie

167 Jonjo Shelvey

164 Mikel Merino

The thing with Jonjo Shelvey is, as these stats above suggest/indicate, is that he is the player who drives Newcastle forward, as well as his much improved defending recently.

It might not be Shelvey who gets the final touch or even the second last touch (assist) but the vast majority of goals that Newcastle do score when he is on the pitch, usually have Jonjo Shelvey as key in the build-up.

If he can keep up his current level of performance and Rafa Benitez can add some better players to complement him, then next season could see Shelvey finally fulfil his true potential at last.

Official Premier League site write-up on Jonjo Shelvey:

‘The 26-year-old loves to try long-range passes behind defenders, so he needs willing runners…A remarkable 25 per cent of his passes are classified as “long”.

Dwight Gayle’s return to the side, combined with the emergence of loanee Kenedy, has given Shelvey two more fast players to aim for, in addition to Christian Atsu, and that has increased his impact.

No one else in Rafael Benitez’s side can deliver pinpoint passes or crosses from distance like Shelvey.

He can be frustrating, losing possession frequently as he ignores the easy option and attempts something more ambitious, but his ability to split defences is second to none at St James’ Park.

Shelvey is ranked second behind Matt Ritchie for chances created at Newcastle this season, having produced 27 key passes in 17 starts, but he can improve upon that ratio.

He could also chip in with more goals as he is yet to score in 2017/18. And, boasting a 32 per cent accuracy rate from crosses, he should try to bend more balls into the box from wide areas, too.

He is a fabulous crosser but has delivered just 19 from open play this term.

Shelvey is a man in form and having a game-changer of his talent improves Newcastle’s prospects of preserving their top-flight status.’

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