Newcastle United injury boost that went unnoticed after Alexander Isak & Allan Saint-Maximin blows

Jonjo Shelvey was included in Newcastle United’s matchday squad for the first time this season.

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Jonjo Shelvey was back in Newcastle United’s matchday squad - just over two months after undergoing hamstring surgery.

The Magpies midfielder sustained the problem during the pre-season defeat in Benfica. Initial timescales had Shelvey sidelined until after the World Cup break.

However, the 30-year-old has returned ahead of schedule and was included in the squad to face Manchester United on Sunday.

With games against Everton and Tottenham Hotspur this week just four days apart, Shelvey could make his first appearance of the campaign.

And head coach Eddie Howe believes the former Liverpool and Swansea City man has a big role between now and the international break.

Jonjo Shelvey back ahead of schedule

“He can have a big influence,” Howe said. “I would have loved to bring him on today (v Man United) but it is difficult to do that as he is in the very early stages of being fit and available. I didn’t want to risk him at all.

“It is a very cautious approach. We might not see him make the impact in the short term, but with more training and building of his fitness levels that will change.”

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Following news of Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury setbacks, Shelvey’s return perhaps fell under the radar by full-time at Old Trafford.

But Howe, speaking previously, explained why Newcastle, who have Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock and Joelinton at their disposal, have missed the midfielder.

“Jonjo’s got real strengths for us, that when he’s in the team and playing well, we miss,” Howe said. His range of pass, his eye for a pass and his execution of that is of the very highest level. I think there’s definitely been games and times during the period where he’s been missed.”

Shelvey, who has made 197 appearances since joining in 2016, needs to play just three games between now and the end of the Premier League campaign to activate an automatic one-year contract extension.

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