This summer at St. James’ Park is massive. There are a large number of people at the club, not just the players, who have hazy contract situations and it will be interesting to see who is still at the club come August. One man who could leave is Jonjo Shelvey, as his future is up in the air and with Sean Longstaff returning next season game time isn’t guaranteed.
Both Longstaff and Shelvey are fan favourites on Tyneside for different reasons, and at least if Shelvey does leave he’s gone out with a bang after his dominant display against Fulham on the final day. After that game, whilst speaking to The Chronicle, the midfielder admitted his future was uncertain, and in this battle, we’ll be comparing Shelvey with Longstaff.
What is there to say about Longstaff that hasn’t already been said this season? The youngster broke into Rafa Benitez’s side around the Christmas period and did a fantastic job to stay in the side up until his season-ending injury against West Ham in early March. His work-rate, aggression and ability to dictate play from deep quickly endeared him to the St James Park faithful, and he will almost certainly play his part next season.
The only question mark above Longstaff’s head is that of experience. It is common knowledge that he has got very little, and whilst he was stellar when playing in an in-form side, when things get tough we are yet to see how the 21-year-old will react to a toxic St James Park atmosphere. Over the years he will improve and we will see a more mature midfielder in Longstaff, but for now, his breakthrough season is being blown slightly out of proportion.
TT GRADE: B
From a midfielder who has a handful of senior games under his belt to one who has hundreds, Jonjo Shelvey is a fine player. The former Liverpool and Swansea man is valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt, and for good reason. His passing range is second to very few in the Premier League, and when he’s on it he can pick any defensive lock with a single well-timed ball.
Next season, should he stay at Newcastle United, he will be key to anything that Rafa Benitez does, and it will be a massive loss for the club if he does decide to leave this summer. When Shelvey first arrived at the club three and a half seasons ago he was a hot-headed midfielder with the ability to win or lose a game in a single moment. Since then, he’s calmed down significantly and would be a bright addition to any midtable side.
TT GRADE: A
Whilst Longstaff is the Newcastle man born and bred who the Geordies will want to see flourish, patience is required. For now, the right man for the job in the middle of the pack of St James Park simply has to be Shelvey. Put him next to someone to do his leg work and he will shine, with Longstaff in the wings waiting for his break when he comes of age and everyone can be kept happy at the club.
Geordies, would you like to see the pair operate alongside each other next season? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!