Howey says this Newcastle player will be key in survival race

Former Newcastle United defender Steve Howey feels that Jonjo Shelvey has a key part to play for the Magpies during the rest of the season.


Former Newcastle United defender Steve Howey has told Sky Sports News, broadcast on March 14 at 10.15am, that he feels Jonjo Shelvey will be the most important player for the Magpies during the remainder of the campaign.


Shelvey was only signed by Newcastle during the January transfer window, but the midfielder has already been promoted to captain of the team in the absence of defender Fabricio Coloccini.


It remains to be seen whether the England international will keep the skipper's armband when his teammate returns to the starting lineup, but Howey has highlighted the impact of Shelvey since he made the switch to St James' Park.


While Newcastle have lost most of the games in which Shelvey has featured, he is one of the few players to come out of their most recent fixtures with any credit and Howey has insisted that his influence could prove to be the difference between remaining in the Premier League or relegation to the Championship.


Howey said: "After just being given the captaincy, it's Shelvey. He, for me, is the main player for them. He seems very vocal, he has a great passing range. In his first game, he was pinging balls about all match.


"He gets back and makes challenges, which the fans love. They do like a player who has the ability to spray the play, but they also need somebody to win the ball. He's a first-class player."


Shelvey is expected to feature for Newcastle in Rafael Benitez's first game in charge on Monday evening when the Magpies take on Premier League leaders Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

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