Jonjo Shelvey has joined Newcastle United from Swansea for a fee beleived to be £12m.
The former Swansea utility midfielder is thought to have been unhappy at the Swans, perhaps as all but one of this games for them this season have been in his less preferred defensive midfield position. Confirmation of Alan Curtis as manager until at least the end of this season may well have compounded his current view of the club and saw the England International drive to SJP on Tuesday morning.
An indication of how keen Shelvey was on the move came from his interview with NUFCTV
'I drove up through the night, setting off from Swansea at 2am and getting here at 7:30....it's exciting to be here".
Quite why Swansea allowed a player of such undoubted tallent to leave the is a puzzle in itself. Jonjo has had well documented issues with attitude and fitness in particular, making a big point at the start of this season that he'd hired a personal trainer and chef to keep him on the straight and narrow. It certainly is the case that there has been some sort of fall our with the Swansea heirachy as he's not been getting the game time you would expect for a player of his tallents in recent times. Steve McClaren will need to be on his metal to make sure he manages this one in the right way if we are to get the best out of the player.
"As soon as Newcastle expressed how much they wanted me, through Steve McClaren, I felt it was the right time to move......it's an immence feeling to be here"
Jonjo started his career at Charlton and impressed coaches and scouts alike so much in his first real full season (scoring 4 and setting up 3 in 25 games in 09/10) that he was given his 'dream move' to Liverpool at just 18 years old.
At Liverpool he was perhaps never to hit the heights of his early promise and he was loaned to Blackpool to gain some gametime.
His second spell back at Liverpool would also prove somewhat frustrating as behind Gerrard, Henderson and Adam his game time would continue to be limited, although he 'technically' has a League Cup to his name as he was in the squad that beat Cardiff in 11/12 although did not even making the bench for the game. His best spell for The Reds probably being in 12/13 where a good run in the Europa League saw him score 4 and set up 1 in 9 games but he continued to be a fringe player for the first team in the Premier League.
Then came his move to Swansea in the summer of 2013, and gaining first team regular football again would serve him and his new club well as the stats show.....
Some of his other stats making interesting reading too.
Think Shelvey, think combative (but only one straight red in his entire career, the other was for two yellows), think goals (yet only 16 in three and a half seasons), and think assists (yet only 32 in 233 career games). There is also the Liverpool ‘thing’. Is he really all that?
Perhaps what the stats above don’t show is his influence on a game. He is infectious and tenacious in equal measure, and as we’ve show, he seems to do this without stepping over the disciplinary line. He also has an uncanny knack of bringing the best out of others, and can be the glue that holds a team together and can make a team tick.
And then there is the fact he just can’t help but GO FORWARD. And with Colback and Tiote (I hesitate to bring Anita into the same bracket) magicians when it comes to playing it sideways and backwards Jonjo will bring some much needed urgency to our play.
As for attitude. "I'll play where I'm told to play, but obvioulsy I'd rather play further forward and try and get this side creating chances and scoring goals......I think this is a big part of my game and hopefully I can do this for the fans". Let's hope this statement is backed up on the pitch.
Shelvey could well make his debut this weekend against West Ham, a team his dad supports, so let's hope the conversation is a tough one after the lad has helped up to three points against the Londoners.
VERDICT: Shelvey is exactly what Newcastle are missing in Centre Mid (I'm excluding Wijnaldum from that statement given he's played wide more than in the centre this seasson). Better than what we have, young, English and hungry. At £12m this will surely prove a cracking piece of business. Striker next please!