Newcastle win showed why keeping Shelvey is gamble worth taking

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St. James Park on January 31, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was attracting attention during the January transfer window.

Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle United is sent off after an incident with Dele Alli during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on August 13,...

Of all of the players within the Newcastle United squad, none seem to frustrate the Magpies fans quite like Jonjo Shelvey. The midfielder is capable of moments of brilliance but also capable of moments of madness - and trying to predict which one is coming next arguably helps explain why the 25-year-old has already played for three different Premier League sides during his career.

Red cards against Tottenham and Everton earlier in the campaign have resulted in the England international receiving a significant amount of criticism, and would have been pointed to as reasons why Rafa Benitez was entitled to sell him in January had he decided to cash in when West Ham came calling.

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Newcastle...

The Sun suggested last month that the Hammers moved to sign Shelvey, and it seems that struggling to make sure that he had the squad depth to cope with losing the former Liverpool man was the main reason that Newcastle did not sanction the sale.

But based on his most recent performance, it is clear that the gamble on keeping Shelvey was very much worth taking as he stepped up in a way that adds as much to the frustration as the red cards and silly acts that land him in trouble.

Shelvey was fantastic in the middle of the park in the win over Manchester United that lifted the Magpies out of the relegation zone in the Premier League on Sunday.

Paul Dummett and Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle United all smiles at the final whistle as Newcastle won 1-0 during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St....

While several players stepped up, no player in the Newcastle squad can be quite as influential as Shelvey when he is at his best - and if the Magpies stay up this term, keeping the midfielder may perhaps prove to be one of the main calls that they reflect upon as being crucial to their survival bid. 

He may infuriate the fans once or twice more before the season ends, but based on his performance against Jose Mourinho's side at the weekend, it may prove completely worth it come the end of the campaign. 

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