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Newcastle need to reunite Ki and Shelvey after international break

Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United

Newcastle need to reunite Ki and Shelvey after international break

Newcastle United are facing a crucial period in their season as their next run of fixtures could shape their season. One problem for Rafael Benitez to solve is their central midfield partnership.

Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame formed a good relationship during the second half of last season, but it hasn’t had the same effect this campaign. The latter hasn’t offered the tenacity and energy that he had previously displayed.

Against Manchester United, he missed a great chance at 2-2 and conceded the free-kick that started the home side’s comeback.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 06: Anthony Martial of Manchester United runs with the ball under pressure from Mohamed Diame of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on October 6, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

It could be time for Benitez to bring Ki Sung-Yueng into the team to partner Shelvey. The pair have both spoken about how much they like to play with each other and they performed well at Swansea City.

They would offer Newcastle control in the central areas, as both are good on the ball. The Magpies need to impose themselves on teams more and a ball-playing central midfield pairing would help them do that.

Ki was seen as a shrewd addition during the summer, but he has played just two Premier League games. It is time for Benitez to be less conservative and starting the South Korean would be a positive move.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

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