Jonjo Shelvey is the key to unlocking Georginio Wijnaldum's potential at Newcastle

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey has given Georginio Wijnaldum a licence to thrill at Newcastle United.

That's the verdict of head coach Steve McClaren ahead of this afternoon's game against Watford.

Shelvey made his debut in last weekend's 2-1 win over West Ham United at St James's Park.

Wijnaldum scored one goal and set up the other, and Shelvey, fielded as a deep-lying midfielder, had a hand in both.

Wijnaldum was recently restored to his preferred No 10 role.

And McClaren is looking to shape his midfield around Shelvey, signed for £12million from Swansea City.

Asked if he could build his team around 23-year-old Shelvey, he said: “Yes, I think you saw that (against West Ham) last week.

"People have commented about Gini and his performance playing in that position.

"He has taken a while to settle in. He played in that position at the beginning, and I think there first two months were a shock to him.

“But I think he has adapted well now, playing as we know he can and getting better and better and scoring goals."

All of Wijnaldum's nine goals have come at St James's Park.

McClaren added: "Now all he needs to do is score away from home."