Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has the potential to be “out of the ordinary”, according to The Athletic journalist George Caulkin.
The 27-year-old has reestablished himself as a mainstay in the Toon Army’s engine room in recent weeks, and has hit two goals in his last four outings.
But while Caulkin did admit that he was surprised to see the playmaker back in the side, he did acknowledge just how special he can be.
Speaking on the Pod of the Tyne podcast, he said: “With Shelvey back in the fold, which is a surprise to me – I didn’t think that he would come back into things and be prominent – they do have a player who is capable of doing something out of the ordinary.”
Shelvey can be quite a divisive figure amongst Newcastle fans. There are those who believe his unique ability for picking out devastating passes is too important to omit from the starting lineup, while others are of the opinion that his lack of work ethic means he can be something of a liability. Both are relatively legitimate arguments, but you would have to say that when he is on his game, there are few players who can provide what he can for a side. Against Manchester City, for example, he wracked up five successful long passes, as per Whoscored, and in the clash against Aston Villa last Monday, he hit a colossal 10. Given the pace that Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin have injected in wide areas for the Toon Army, that ability to spring sides with carefully weighted balls over the top could prove to be a very dangerous weapon for a team that really need to be scoring more goals. As long as Shelvey can keep providing passes like that, he has to stay in the starting XI.