Newcastle United have had different players step up this year, but we weigh in on who has been the most improved during the 2019-20 season.
As we currently sit with the Premier League season on hold, Newcastle United find themselves in 13th on the EPL table. There have been various players to step up for Steve Bruce’s side this season, but who is the most improved player this season?
Durim Halimi: Jonjo Shelvey
Like Carson below, I also believe Javier Manquillo is the most improved player this season, but for the sake of providing our readers with fresh perspectives, I have selected Jonjo Shelvey. The mercurial midfielder struggled with inconsistency over the last few seasons, but his offensive resurgence this term has been critical for Newcastle United.
With five goals to his name, Shelvey is the club’s leading scorer, and his goals have either sparked comebacks, salvaged points or secured victories for the Magpies. The lack of output from the front line has been frustrating, but Shelvey’s goals have ameliorated that crisis to a certain extent.
What is more impressive about Shelvey’s scoring record this season is the fact that he has only touched the ball ten times in the opposing penalty area. Shelvey has made the most of his opportunities and his precision in front goal is worth praising. Let’s see if Shelvey can reach double figures when the season returns this summer.
Carson A. Merk: Javier Manquillo
This was Javier Manquillo’s third season with the Magpies. In his first campaign, he seemed overmatched, despite having previous experience in the Premier League. Last season, he was a little bit better but still not reliable enough to be a consistent starter.
During the 2019-20 season, the Spanish right-back appeared to finally reach his potential. He was able to lock down elite attacking players like Wilfried Zaha and cut out the mental lapses that plagued him before. His crossing was also improved and he tallied an assist vs. Sheffield United. Unfortunately, injuries limited his match appearances, but he definitely established himself as a Premier League- caliber player.