Jonjo Shelvey says he NEVER thought about leaving Newcastle United in the wake of the club’s relegation.
Shelvey joined the club in January from Swansea City in a £12million deal.
But the midfielder, handed the captain’s armband by Steve McClaren after Fabricio Coloccini was sidelined, found himself on the bench under Rafa Benitez in the last few weeks of the season as United battled to stay in the Premier League.
And Shelvey was tipped for a summer exit in the wake of relegation.
Andros Townsend, also signed in January, left for Crystal Palace so he could stay in the Premier League.
Shelvey, however, insists he didn’t think about leaving, despite his frustration at a lack of starts under Benitez.
The 24-year-old instead worked hard on his fitness over the summer ahead of his return to St James’s Park, and he has been a revelation in the Championship.
Asked if he considered leaving, Shelvey said: “I’ve not thought about leaving once.
“I wanted to stay at this football club – I only signed in January!
“I’m settled here. I’ve got my family here and things like that. It’s a great city to live in and a great football club to play for.
“It was tough not playing at the back end of last year. I’m the sort of person that normally gets the hump if he’s not playing, but I think that’s natural as a footballer. You want to play every game.
“At the end of the day I went away in the summer and worked on my body and my mind.
“I want to stay here and play for this club.”
Influential Shelvey has started nine of Newcastle’s 11 Championship games so far this season.
The England international – who missed out on a place in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad – has also scored three goals, including a memorable strike in United’s 6-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.
Shelvey played in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Rotherham United at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The result saw Newcastle go into the international break in third place, three points behind league leaders Huddersfield Town.