This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Jonjo Shelvey has admitted that he was close to joining West Ham this summer before Newcastle decided to block the midfielder’s move to the London Stadium.
Well, the Charlton academy graduate is struggling to nail down a starting place under new Magpies boss Steve Bruce, having also found difficulty in making the starting eleven under Rafa Benitez – Shelvey managed just 10 Premier League starts least season.
So far this term, the England international started the Tynesiders’ first two league games in losses to Arsenal and Norwich – he netted a goal against the Canaries – but was then dropped for the game against Tottenham in which the Magpies won 1-0.
He missed a penalty in the Carabao Cup shootout loss to Leicester in midweek, and has now revealed that Newcastle stood in the way of a summer exit.
Shelvey would’ve been a pointless signing for the Hammers and Newcastle did the east Londoners a massive favour in blocking his move.
The Irons already have Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere in midfield, two technically gifted talents who specialise in playmaking like Shelvey.
Additionally, Manuel Pellegrini’s side picked up their first win of the campaign after reverting back to a 4-2-3-1 system against Watford, having deployed a 4-1-4-1 formation in the 1-1 draw with Brighton – Mark Noble was also crucially drafted into the eleven against the Hornets.
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This suggests that they do need Noble and Declan Rice at the base of the midfield, which leaves room for just one creative presence ahead of them – with that in mind, when it comes down to Shelvey or Manuel Lanzini, the latter wins every time having scored 12 more goals for West Ham than Shelvey has for Newcastle in two less appearances.
Furthermore, seeing as Shelvey is the Magpies’ highest earner on £70k-a-week, it would’ve been a poor decision by West Ham to sign him as a squad player on similar or even higher wages.
Newcastle did the Hammers a huge favour.