Eddie Howe has dropped a big injury update on Newcastle United duo Joe Willock and Jonjo Shelvey…
The Magpies head coach has explained why both players were left out of the matchday squad for the club’s 5-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Sunday.
Journalist Chris Waugh Tweeted: “Eddie Howe confirms that midfielders Joe Willock (a knee problem) & Jonjo Shelvey (a calf issues) are unlikely to feature in either of ‘s final two matches of the season. Both missed the 5-0 defeat to .”
The Toon supporters will surely be gutted by this big injury setback as it is a major blow to the club’s hopes of a top-half finish in the Premier League.
Newcastle are one point behind tenth-placed Brighton and have the opportunity to end the campaign in the top ten as they face Arsenal and Burnley in their last two matches.
However, they will need to cope without Willock and Shelvey and this will frustrate the fans as both players have been regulars in the midfield this season. The former has played 29 league matches and this shows that Howe trusts him to perform in the middle of the park, whilst the head coach was let down by his replacement – Sean Longstaff – against Man City.
Shelvey, meanwhile, has been excellent in the top-flight. He has averaged a superb SofaScore rating of 6.93 across 24 appearances as he has chipped in with two goals and one assist. The former Liverpool man has used his sublime range of passing to great effect throughout the campaign as he has completed 4.9 long passes per game, opening up the pitch and sending the likes of Ryan Fraser and Allan Saint-Maximin into space in wide areas.
Only four players have averaged a higher rating than the Englishman for Newcastle and three of them – Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn – joined the club in the January transfer window.
These statistics illustrate why losing Shelvey is a major blow for the Magpies as they will now be without one of their best players for the remainder of the season. He has shown that he can perform to a high level on a consistent basis and that is why his injury is a tough one to take for the supporters.
Therefore, fans will be gutted by Howe’s update and will be hoping that both players are able to recover in time to be fit for pre-season later this year.