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Jonjo Shelvey to West Ham story is back up

4 months ago
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Wednesday morning has seen a West Ham to sign Jonjo Shelvey headline.

This time it is the Northern Echo who have the ‘inside’ story…

They report that the Hammers are ‘confident they can persuade’ Shelvey to move from Newcastle to East London.

The newspaper stating that ‘West Ham officials made a number of inquiries about Shelvey’s position during the January transfer window, but their approaches were rebuffed.’

I wrote about this (see below) back in January and the claims of a move to West Ham them, or any club, were clearly pure fantasy.

At that point (12 January) it had been over 10 weeks since Jonjo Shelvey had started a match and he was still going back and forwards to Barcelona to see a specialist, who was trying to get to the bottom of a thigh injury that kept flaring up whenever the midfelder tried to step up and play, even in brief substitute appearances.

So there was obviously no truth in West Ham actively trying to buy the player in January, the question now being has that changed, or will it change, this summer?

Knowing he wouldn’t be named in the first team squad at West Ham the next day, Shelvey asked to play for the reserves against Fulham on 1 March and scored the only goal (a header!) of the game in a 62 minute run out.

This has been followed by two brief, but very promising, Premier League first team sub appearances against Everton and Bournemouth, 11 and 7 minutes respectively.

These were the first Premier League minutes since being a sub against Man Utd on 2 January.

The next step is starting a game and that looks very likely to happen these next couple of weeks, with Arsenal away on 1 April then Palace at home on 6 April.

Whilst some were quick to write off Jonjo Shelvey after indifferent form, then injury and others doing well in his absence, recent weeks once again prove how fluid the situation can be in football.

Sean Longstaff picked up that injury at West Ham that rules him out until next season, Ki came in and was poor against Everton, Diame then got his chance against Bournemouth and failed to impress.

The scene is set for Jonjo Shelvey to come back in now and get a run of games until the end of the season in this new look team, a team that has more of an attacking emphasis since Almiron was added to the mix. The kind of quick player ideal for Shelvey to pick out with his passing.

It is obvious that Shelvey suits a more attacking team, where he has options going forward, and these two sub appearances have seen him help the team turn both games around, as he has been key to driving the team forward in the closing stages.

If he starts at Arsenal it will be over 21 weeks since Jonjo Shelvey started a first team match so naturally he has it all to prove once again.

However, Diame turns 32 in June and I can’t see Newcastle offering him what he wants to stay, plus I don’t think he has shown nearly enough this season to think he should get a two year contract or longer.

As well as him, Isaac Hayden will surely leave. Rafa has made noises about trying to get him to stay but the fact remains that the player’s partner and young child (who has had serious medical issues and is still being monitored) live in the South West close to family, so the player will still be intent on finding a club that is nearer.

Ki  will turn 31 in January and sees his contract end next (2020) summer.

I think Rafa Benitez will be hoping Jonjo Shelvey comes back in and shows both fitness and form. If he does that, Rafa will be looking at him and Longstaff as key midfielders for next season, with Ki as back up and then adding at least one other quality option. He certainly won’t be looking to sell Shelvey if he is looking good.

That is of course if Rafa Benitez himself is still here…

The Northern Echo today (20 March 2019):

West Ham want Jonjo Shelvey in summer transfer window

WEST HAM UNITED will rekindle their interest in Jonjo Shelvey this summer, and are confident they can persuade the Newcastle United midfielder to swap Tyneside for East London.

West Ham officials made a number of inquiries about Shelvey’s position during the January transfer window, but their approaches were rebuffed.’

Part of my article on The Mag – 12 January 2019:

‘Why on earth are the media still running with this Jonjo Shelvey January move to West Ham?

They choose to simply ignore the facts as they currently stand today.

Jonjo Shelvey is currently knackered.

He hasn’t been able to start any match for these past 10 weeks, since being forced off through injury against Watford on 3 November 2018.

The thigh injury keeps flaring up again whenever he has tried to step back up and come off the bench.

The latest being against Blackburn seven days ago when he reminded us of his ability with a couple of stunning long range passes.

However, following that game his thigh injury once again bothered him and he has been over in Barcelona seeing a specialist to try and get to the bottom of the problem.

The same specialist he went to see in December to try and get it sorted.Despite this information, the newspapers continue to report this (Saturday) morning that a move to West Ham could be imminent…

The media are most definitely getting ever more desperate/worse.

How can any rational person believe that West Ham are going to be spending £20m+ on a player who has an injury that currently there is no solution to?’

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