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Should Newcastle United recall Jonjo Shelvey for the trip to Swansea City?

Jake Jackman

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Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey returns from suspension this weekend and provides a selection headache for Rafa Benitez, as Newcastle United travel to Swansea City. The midfielder was sent off during the first match of the season. It was a moment of petulance from the England international as he trod on Dele Alli right in front of the referee.

Although he is a talented player, Shelvey has always frustrated since breaking into the professional game as he has a moment of madness in him. There was no need to do what he did to Alli, as his team were in the game and growing into it. However, the midfielder was wound up and completely lost his head. Benitez will have been unsure whether he could trust the 25-year-old this season and his actions on the opening day could see him lose his place in the first team.

Should he start against Swansea City?

This is the main selection headache for Benitez heading into this weekend. On measure of ability, Shelvey should be one of the first names on the team-sheet on Sunday. However, he has regularly shown that he can’t be trusted and picking him is a risk, especially against Swansea. The midfielder has a poor relationship with the home supporters due to the way his career in South Wales ended. He will be getting stick from the first minute and it will be the type of environment that could see him lose his head.

Newcastle didn’t fare well without him last season as he was their playmaker and the individual that they looked at for motivation. However, they showed in their last fixture that they could win without the midfielder. They ran out comfortable winners over West Ham with the midfield partnership of Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden offering real promise. It would be harsh to drop either and that may mean that Shelvey has to bide his time.

It is an interesting dilemma for Benitez. On his day, Shelvey can be box office and it is well within his capabilities to play a starring role against his former club. However, he needs to learn from his mistakes and he wouldn’t if he was brought straight back into the team. If they want him to eradicate disciplinary problems, benching him on Sunday could be the right call.

What does the future hold for Shelvey?

Despite his red card, he remains a crucial player for Newcastle. He has a big part to play over the course of the season, but it could take him a few weeks to earn his way back into the first team. Shelvey will come out as a stronger player and person if Benitez manages this situation correctly. The lack of signings means that the Spaniard needs to squeeze everything out of the players that he has available. As one of the most talented, Shelvey needs to have a big season, but he won’t be of any use if he continues to pick up needless suspensions.

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.

Liverpool

Liverpool missing out on Yerry Mina looks a mistake after World Cup showing

Liverpool had been linked with a loan move for Mina but he looks set for Real Betis.

Mathew Nash

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Earlier this summer Liverpool were linked with the loan move of Barcelona defender Yerry Mina. Back in May, it seemed as though he was definitely Anfield bound. As reported by talkSPORT, a TV presenter in Spain had suggested his loan move to Liverpool for the season was done.

That, of course, did not prove to be the case. Now, it is suggested the Liverpool target is going elsewhere. The Colombian is, according to reports, off to Real Betis. As reported by El Desmarque, the La Liga side are on the cusp of completing a loan deal for the player which will include an option to buy at the end of the season.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Based on the evidence of last night at the World Cup, Liverpool are definitely missing out.

Mina, who cost Barca £10.5 million in January, put in a fantastic display for Colombia against Poland in Russia yesterday. Brought in to replace Valencia’s Jeison Murillo the youngster formed a fantastic partnership with Tottenham Hotspur youngster Davinson Sanchez at the heart of defence for Colombia.

Fast, strong and imposing in the air the 23-year-old looked every inch the Premier League defender.

He even found his way onto the scoresheet. He excellently nodded home James Rodriguez’s beautiful lofted cross to give Colombia the lead.

What Liverpool fans saw was the perfect option to provide a challenge to Dejan Lovren for the partnership with Virgil van Dijk. Unfortunately, it seems he will be heading elsewhere.

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Chelsea

Chelsea face Alvaro Morata decision amid Borussia Dortmund interest

The Spaniard could be set to leave the Blues after just one season.

Jake Jackman

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Morata
Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea have a summer of restructuring ahead of them, but the progress has been slow to date.

Antonio Conte remains in the manager’s hotseat, despite plenty of rumours to suggest that he is unlikely to be in the dugout for the first game of the 2018/19 season.

The Blues won’t be in the Champions League for the second time in three years and that is likely to affect their transfer business in a negative way.

They will realise the importance of selling players in order to bring in the funds required to strengthen.

Talksport and the Daily Mail both cite reports originating from Bild suggesting that Borussia Dortmund are interested in signing Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata.

The German club are believed to have made the Spaniard a top priority as they try to add a top-tier striker to their ranks.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

Last season, they loaned Michy Batshuayi from Stamford Bridge and the Belgian striker did very well for the club, but they have now switched their attention to his team-mate.

Morata endured an off first season in the Premier League, facing a lot of criticism for his performances, despite finishing the campaign with a decent return in front of goal.

His contribution of 11 goals and six assists in the Premier League isn’t bad, but Chelsea expected more from a striker that they spent big on last summer.

It was hoped that he would play a similar role to Diego Costa, but he lacked his international team-mate’s aggression in the final third.

It can be argued that he was a more selfless striker and he often chose to bring his team-mates into the game at every opportunity, but the lack of a regular supply of goals did hurt Chelsea.

They became over-reliant on Eden Hazard and Willian. Meanwhile, the tactical set-up of Antonio Conte was a lot less effective without a top-tier striker.

There will be many at Chelsea that remain behind Morata and will be willing to give him time, but if the interest from Dortmund is genuine, it may be too good to turn down.

Although they aren’t in the Champions League, the Blues remain one of the biggest clubs in Europe and they will have the pulling power to attract a top striker.

At this time, their Spanish number nine has maintained his value in the transfer market, but another average season may see that plummet.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The problem at Chelsea right now is that their future direction both in the boardroom and in the dugout are unclear.

This period of uncertainty is hurting the club as they are unable to make decisions on members of the current squad and potential transfer targets.

Antonio Conte will have different ideas than a potential successor and until a clear decision is made on the manager, no moves can be made in the transfer market.

His first season in England will have been a disappointment for Morata and he will be eager to prove that he remains one of the best strikers in the world.

A player doesn’t have Real Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea on their CV without having a lot of talent.

At the age of 25, he still has his best years ahead of him and it might be worth keeping him in the hope that there is an improvement.

However, the Blues need to return to the Champions League next season and their current number nine may not be up to the task of delivering that.

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Liverpool

Fans still divided on Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson despite excellent England showing

Jordan Henderson was excellent for England again but the Liverpool man struggles to win over fans.

Mathew Nash

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There are always players among the England national team that seem to divide opinion. Right now, Jordan Henderson appears to be that player. The Liverpool captain is continuously criticised for his performances by fans of both England and Liverpool.

The main criticism is that Henderson is too negative. He is always looking to play the ball backwards or sideways and never forward. Henderson is limited in ability, negative in style and a waste of a shirt number. That is often the criticism.

Others completely disagree. Henderson is the pendulum of the Liverpool and England team. He sets a tempo from midfield and is always available as an out ball. He does play forward passes, often in behind defences to test them and move territory into the opposition third.

These are the fans who believe Henderson has come on leaps and bounds under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage at Liverpool.

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Based on his form so far at the World Cup, those people are right. Henderson was brilliant against Tunisia in the opening game. He was even better today, as England swept aside Panama 6-1.

Henderson put in a fantastic display for 90 minutes, covering more ground than any other player in sizzling heat. He was often positive in his passing and showed his natural leadership qualities, even if Harry Kane wears the armband.

But once again, fans are divided. It seems Henderson may always be ‘that’ player for England. The easy one to blame, the scapegoat.

Unless he can carry on his excellent form and bring ‘it’ home. Then fans will have to love the Liverpool star…

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