I remember thinking back in January 2016 that £12m for Jonjo Shelvey, who was struggling for game time at Swansea, was rather excessive. However, I think he has proved that we have struck a good deal as he has become a key figure at St. James' Park.
Shelvey decided to stay with the club after the 2016 relegation from the Premier League, unlike Andros Townsend who was purchased at the same price and bought at around the same time that Shelvey was drafted in from Swansea.
Since the start of the 2016/17 Championship season, Shelvey has been a key player for the club and, in that season especially, was usually the first name on the teamsheet barring a suspension.
Controversy, however, was never far around the corner. An alleged racist incident involving Wolves' Romain Saiss saw him retrospectively banned for four matches during the Christmas period which saw a home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and defeat to eventually relegated Blackburn. The opening day of the following season, Shelvey was once again the centre of attention for the wrong reasons. The match against Tottenham was delicately poised in the second half when Shelvey decided to stamp on Dele Alli. The Magpies went down to 10 men and Spurs went on to play out a comfortable victory.
Controversy aside, Shelvey's best attribute is his long range accurate passing and an upturn in form in the second half of the 2017/18 season placed him in contention for a call up to England's 2018 World Cup Squad, only to beaten to it by Ruben Loftus-Cheek who left a lot to be desired during his loan spell at Crystal Palace. In August 2016, he opened his goals account for the club with a spectacular free kick in a 2-0 home win over Brighton. Two and a half weeks later, he scored a goal of the season contender against QPR at Loftus Road the Mags thrashed the London club 6-0 - even Grant Hanley got on the scoresheet that night.
In recent times, it has been a difficult season for the midfield maestro. Amongst the difficult start, he was substituted in the game against Watford in which Ayoze Perez later scored the only goal of the game to give the club their first win of the season in November. A recovery from the team was successful without Shelvey who only since made cameo appearances. He came off the bench to play a part in the winning goal against Everton as Perez capped off a fantastic comeback for the club.
To conclude, in my view, Shelvey was certainly a crucial part of the team but is not as influential now as he used to be. When playing without him, it sometimes felt like we needed to work harder to not lose a game. However, in recent times, partly because of the emergence of Sean Longstaff into the first team, he has competition to contend with however he might find Isaac Hayden's wanting to leave the club at the next opportunity and Mo Diame's contract expiring at the end of the season will be blessings towards his personal gain as an individual.
Dates: 11th January 2016 to present day (1,159* days).
Transfer details: Bought for £12m from Swansea City on 11/01/2016.
Total: 107 appearances, 7 goals.
Season by Season (when Shelvey has played)
Premier League: 18th (Played: 15, Won: 5, Drawn: 2, Lost: 8, Goals for: 21, Goals against: 26, Goal difference: -5, Pts: 17)
Championship: 1st (Played: 42, Won: 27, Drawn: 7, Lost: 8, Goals for: 80, Goals against: 36, Goal difference: +44, Pts: 88)
League Cup: Quarter-Final (v Hull City) - Played: 4, Won: 3, Drawn: 1, Lost: 0, Goals for: 11, Goals against: 1, Goal difference: +10.
FA Cup: 4th Round (v Oxford United) - Played: 1, Won: 1, Drawn: 0, Lost: 0, Goals for: 3, Goals against: 1, Goal difference: +2.
Premier League: 10th (Played: 30, Won: 9, Drawn: 7, Lost: 14, Goals for: 29, Goals against: 37, Goal difference: -8, Pts: 34)
League Cup: 2nd Round (v Nottingham Forest) - did not feature.
FA Cup: 4th Round (v Chelsea) - Played: 2, Won: 1, Drawn: 0, Lost: 1, Goals for: 3, Goals against: 4, Goal difference: -1.
Premier League: (Played: 12, Won: 2, Drawn: 4, Lost: 6, Goals for: 8, Goals against: 16, Goal difference: -8, Pts: 10)
League Cup: 2nd Round (v Nottingham Forest) - did not feature.
FA Cup: 4th Round (v Watford) - Played: 1, Won: 0, Drawn: 1, Lost: 0, Goals for: 1, Goals against: 1, Goal difference: 0.
Record with Shelvey
League: Played: 99, Won: 43, Drawn: 20, Lost: 36, Goals for: 146, Goals against: 115, Goal difference: +31, Pts: 149. Win ratio: 43%
Home (league): Played: 51, Won: 28, Drawn: 7, Lost: 16, Goals for: 80, Goals against: 52, Goal difference: +28, Pts: 91. Win ratio: 55%.
Away (league): Played: 48, Won: 16, Drawn: 13, Lost: 19, Goals for: 58, Goals against: 63, Goal difference: -5, Pts: 61. Win ratio: 33%.
Domestic Cup: Played: 8, Won: 5, Drawn: 2, Lost: 1, Goals for: 18, Goals against: 7, Goal difference: +11. Win ratio: 63%.
Home (all competitions): Played: 57, Won: 33, Drawn: 8, Lost: 16, Goals for: 97, Goals against: 55, Goal difference: +42. Win ratio: 58%.
Away (all competitions): Played: 50, Won: 16, Drawn: 14, Lost: 20, Goals for: 59, Goals against: 67, Goal difference: -8. Win ratio: 32%.
Total: Played: 107, Won: 48, Drawn: 22, Lost: 37, Goals for: 164, Goals against: 122, Goal difference: +42. Win ratio: 45%.
Record without Shelvey
League: Played: 32, Won: 12, Drawn: 6, Lost: 14, Goals for: 37, Goals against: 37, Goal difference: 0, Pts: 42. Win ratio: 38%
Home (league): Played: 15, Won: 7, Drawn: 3, Lost: 5, Goals for: 24, Goals against: 15, Goal difference: +9, Pts: 24. Win ratio: 47%.
Away (league): Played: 17, Won: 5, Drawn: 3, Lost: 9, Goals for: 13, Goals against: 22, Goal difference: -9, Pts: 18. Win ratio: 29%.
Domestic Cup: Played: 6, Won: 1, Drawn: 1, Lost: 4, Goals for: 8, Goals against: 14, Goal difference: -6. Win ratio: 17%.
Home (all competitions): Played: 17, Won: 7, Drawn: 3, Lost: 7, Goals for: 26, Goals against: 20, Goal difference: +6. Win ratio: 41%.
Away (all competitions): Played: 21, Won: 6, Drawn: 4, Lost: 11, Goals for: 19, Goals against: 31, Goal difference: -12. Win ratio: 29%.
Total: Played: 38, Won: 13, Drawn: 7, Lost: 18, Goals for: 45, Goals against: 51, Goal difference: -6. Win ratio: 34%.
Home: 2 (Brighton, QPR).
Away: 3 (QPR x2, Sheffield Wednesday).
Premier League: 1
Away: 1 (Leicester).
FA Cup: 1
Home: 1 (Luton).
Home: 3 (43%)
Away: 4 (57%)
Most goals in a 5-game run: 3 - Brighton, QPR (August - September 2016).
Debut and First win
Newcastle United 2 (Ayoze Perez 6, Georginio Wijnaldum 15) West Ham 1 - (16/01/2016)
It was a terrific debut which saw Shelvey live up to the £12m price tag. He played a key part in both goals which proved crucial in getting the three points against a West Ham side that was pushing for European qualification. Notably, it was Shelvey's Hollywood ball across to Daryl Janmaat that was a big plus of the midfielder's debut as Janmaat made the most of the opportunity and set up fellow Dutch teammate Georginio Wijnaldum to score from close range.
Newcastle United 2 (Jamaal Lascelles 15, Jonjo Shelvey 63) Brighton 0 - (27/08/2016)
A wonderful free kick got the better of David Stockdale in the Brighton goal as it curves a long way before nestling into the back of the net. The goal came soon after the Seagulls were reduced to ten men after Sam Baldock received two yellow cards which helped the team to enable to see the game out and collect three points as the team picked up their fourth consecutive win.
50th league match
Newcastle United 2 (Dwight Gayle 36, Matt Ritchie 57) Wigan 1 - (01/04/2017)
Stuttering home form slowed down the team's efforts in the push for promotion. However Shelvey's 50th league match for the club helped to put the club back on track as Dwight Gayle scored his first goal at St. James' Park in 2017 following injury problems. Shortly after Wigan's equaliser, Matt Ritchie's volley struck the post and his quick-thinking helped him to header home the rebound from his own shot, cue the kicking out the corner flag celebration.
Last win and last match
Newcastle United 3 (Salomon Rondon 65, Ayoze Perez 81, 84) Everton 2 - (09/03/2019)
Shelvey came off the bench for Ki Sung-Yueng whilst Everton were leading 2-1 in the second half of the game at St. James'. He ended up playing a key part in the second role by playing in the corner which Everton failed to fully clear which presented Ayoze Perez with an opportunity which he took to grab the all important winner.
Further landmark matches
50th match: Newcastle United 2 - 2 Bristol City (25/02/2017)
100th match: Newcastle United 0 - 1 Brighton (20/10/2018)