NEWCASTLE’S run of five successive home victories came crashing to an end as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace.
He might have come on for the final 14 minutes, but there have to be major question marks over Jonjo Shelvey’s future given how peripheral he has become to Rafael Benitez’s plans.
With Mo Diame failing a pre-match fitness test, Shelvey would have hoped to make his first Premier League start since early November. Instead, Ki Sung-yueng got the nod and Shelvey was left frustrated once again.
West Ham United continue to have a strong interest in the former England international, and while Benitez was reluctant to sell him in January, the response would surely be different if the Hammers were to rekindle their interest in the summer. Shelvey’s Newcastle career looks to be nearing its end.
Unless, of course, Rafa leaves before him. And some reports say the manager is close to calling time on the club.