Steve Bruce sees Jonjo Shelvey as a key man for Newcastle United going into the new season, as reported by The Daily Mail.
The Newcastle manager is hoping to tie down what he sees as the core of his squad by offering them new contracts.
Shelvey joins names such as Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden and Martin Dubravka on the list of players he is looking to ensure stay at St. James’ Park.
The 27-year-old’s current contract with the Magpies will expire in the summer of 2021.
Shelvey may be seen as a key man now, but he was more of a fringe player under Rafael Benitez last season, as he only started 10 Premier League matches, coming off the bench six times, scoring once and assisting once, as per WhoScored.
One trait that is often associated with Shelvey is ill-discipline, which wasn’t helped by his two red cards in 2017/18 and 10 yellows the previous season.
However, there are signs that he has matured as a player now he has reached 27-years-old, as he only picked up one yellow in the entirety of the last campaign – which comes despite the England international making more tackles per game than he did in either of the two preceding seasons.
To add context, Sean Longstaff received two yellows in eight starts and one substitute appearance, though the 21-year-old did make 0.5 more tackles per game.
Shelvey also played the ball more regularly than any other Newcastle midfielder, as he placed third in the club’s average passes made per game (39.3) – behind Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar.
Shelvey has begun to show he is a player who can be trusted, so with the confidence of the manager, he could go on to be an integral player for Newcastle next season.
Having the Englishman dictate the team’s play could be a good move from Bruce, as he is certainly worthy of having a greater influence than was given in the last campaign based on his impressive passing stats alone.
Newcastle fans, is Shelvey the sort of player you want to see Bruce build the team around? Let us know by commenting below!
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