Rafael Benitez admits there's a problem with Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey

Rafael Benitez the head coach

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is set to miss Rafael Benitez's side's next match at the weekend.

Rafael Benítez the head coach

Rafael Benitez has admitted to the Chronicle that Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has a problem, even though he wants to keep playing.

Shelvey has returned to training after injury, and the Englishman insists that he is fit to feature.

But Benitez admits that he doesn’t want to rush Shelvey back to fitness, as the 26-year-old always wants to play through injury.

 

“Jonjo is the kind of player who wants to play in every game and he has been training, but at the same time there is a problem,” he said.

“The last time he was pushing and pushing and we could see in training he was not fully fit. He wanted to play, he was telling us he could. I was talking to him today, but we have to see how he is during the week and decide if he is OK or not.

“We don’t talk about his quality, we talk about his fitness. He has the quality to do it, but he has to be fit because we play against another top side who moves the ball very quickly.”

Newcastle player Jonjo Shelvey (r) celebrates with goalscorer Ayoze Perez (l) and Mo Diame after the second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St....

Shelvey’s return to fitness for Newcastle will be a huge boost, as he is so crucial to them.

Shelvey, who is on an £80,000-a-week contract (Telegraph), sets the pace for Newcastle’s play, and is the best passer in their squad.

Benitez’s side have struggled so far this season, so need their top players on the pitch sooner rather than later.

The Magpies are still looking for their first victory of the campaign, with wins proving hard to come by so far.

Newcastle are next in action on Saturday, when they take on Arsenal at St. James’ Park.

Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle United looks on in the warm up prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James' Park on December 27, 2017 in...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch