Completely hairless wonder-goal scorer Jonjo Shelvey is the man Alan Pardew hopes will squeeze his plates of meat into Yohan Cabaye’s string-pulling boots in the Newcastle midfield from next season.
The silver-topped gaffer is thought to have something of a war chest to refurbish his beleaguered Magpies squad this summer and is plotting a reunion with the Swansea superstar.
Pardew sent the midfielder on his way down the professional football path when manning the Charlton rudder and regards the England man as the ideal candidate to inject some much-needed lock-picking prowess into his goal-shy side.
The Toon and their toothless attack travel to Arsenal next, where they’ve been attributed an enormous price of 19/2 to prevail.
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Liverpool trousered £5m last summer when they agreed to ship Shelvey off to south Wales and, after flourishing in the Swansea midfield, potential suitors will have to pay a bare minimum of double that if they hope to land him.
Mike Ashley’s infamously frugal ways may induce a balking at the prospect of paying serious bucks for a player who isn’t French, but an asset with six Premier League goals and as many assists in a sub-par Swans side is well-worth the outlay.
He’s achieved these above-average figures in just 27 starts, in which he’s exemplified mastery in teammate location, finding a white shirt almost 83 per cent of the time from the 51.3 passes per game he averages.
This accuracy outstrips every Magpie middleman with over 20 starts to their name aside from ‘The Iron’ Cheick Tiote, who hits his mark at an astounding rate of 87.1 per cent.
The Ivorian enforcer, though, does not pass with the same attacking intent as Shelvey, his role is more about ball retention than shredding defences.
A central midfield combination of the pair would immeasurably improve Newcastle’s ability in possession and, if they hope to replicate the Cabaye-inspired halcyon days, the London-born baller must be moved for.