Newcastle United’s forgotten man Jonjo Shelvey has held emergency talks with Rafa Benitez as he continues to be overlooked at St James’ Park, as reported by the Sun (16 April, page 59).
Shelvey was one of Newcastle’s most impressive performers last season, his eye-catching displays encouraging some to suggest that he was worthy of a place in Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad.
But the former Liverpool ace has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of Ki Sung-Yeung and the emergence of Sean Longstaff, failing to start a Premier League game since November.
And The Sun reports that he knocked on Benitez’s door ahead of Friday’s 1-0 win away at Leicester to demand an answer about why he is being left out – and the exchange was far from jovial.
The report claims that Benitez told Shelvey that he wasn’t being picked because he is not fit enough with the 27-year-old pointing out that he can’t be expected to be match ready if he is being left on the bench on a weekly basis.
The one-time Charlton starlet is expected to leave Newcastle this summer with West Ham United at the front of the queue. And Newcastle should be laughing if they get a reported £20 million for a player who is clearly not part of Benitez’s plans.