This duo will excel for Newcastle in 2020-21 campaign

The jersey of Newcastle United during 2019-20 campaign. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)
The jersey of Newcastle United during 2019-20 campaign. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images) /

Newcastle United will experience an offensive resurgence in midfield if this duo is paired together.

Newcastle United will be in action later today when they take on Middlesbrough for their third preseason friendly. The Magpies won their first two friendlies against Crewe Alexandra (3-0) and Barnsley (2-1), and they will hope to celebrate win number three against rivals Boro.

Unfortunately for Steve Bruce, though, he already has some major dilemmas to resolve before the new season gets underway.

Dwight Gayle will be sidelined for three months with a hyper-extended knee, and Martin Dubravka will miss up to eight weeks with an ankle injury, which required minor surgery.

Both players are key men for Bruce’s side, and their absences will be felt. That being said, there are two players who can help soften the blow by performing at an elite level for Newcastle United.

Assuming Bruce pairs Jonjo Shelvey with new signing Jeff Hendrick in the middle of the park, the Magpies will experience a much needed resurgence offensively.

Fans are used to seeing Isaac Hayden get the nod alongside Jonjo Shelvey, but now that Bruce abandoned his defensive tactics and deploys an attack-focused 4-2-3-1 formation, Shelvey and Hendrick should be the primary duo in midfield.

Shelvey is coming off a great season after leading the team in scoring with six goals, and Hendrick claimed that he is eager to play in a more central role at Newcastle United, which is where he believes his best contribution comes from.

Shelvey and Hendrick have 14 Premier League seasons between them. That veteran leadership and football acumen will be massive for Newcastle United as they aim to reach new heights this season.

Shelvey has been playing with renewed confidence ever since Steve Bruce replaced Rafa Benitez, and the same story might apply to Hendrick.

The former Burnley midfielder claimed that a ceiling had been placed on his overall production during his time at Turf Moor due to being played out of position.

One of the reasons why he joined Newcastle United was because of the tactical presentation made by Bruce and his staff, which will allow Hendrick see more of the ball and work his way up the middle.

Fans should be excited about seeing this duo in midfield. It will be the first time since earning promotion in the summer of 2016 that Newcastle United will have two central midfielders who want to get involved in the action in the final third.

Shelvey showed the Toon Army he is capable of scoring a decent number of goals, and Hendrick recently stated that he plans to add more goals to his game.

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