Major injury blow puts Newcastle United contract on hold as Eddie Howe considers options

Following a positive opening day win at St James’s Park, Newcastle United have been dealt a major injury blow.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey missed the 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest with a hamstring injury picked up during the 3-2 defeat at Benfica during pre-season.

It has now been revealed that Shelvey could face months on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his hamstring over the weekend.

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Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle United FC with Rafa Silva of SL Benfica in action during the Eusebio Cup match between SL Benfica and Newcastle United at Estadio da Luz on July 26, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Mail Online have reported that the 30-year-old is now facing 12 weeks on the sidelines following the operation, making him unavailable until early November.

But with the Premier League season undergoing a six-week break following the weekend of November 12 until Boxing Day, the player could effectively be ruled out of competitive action until after Christmas.

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Shelvey had been in fine form for Newcastle under Eddie Howe during the second half of the 2021-22 campaign and impressed during pre-season prior to his injury.

During the pre-season training camp in Austria, Shelvey revealed that he was just three games shy of activating a one-year contract extension to the summer of 2024.

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His current deal is set to expire next summer and his extension is now unlikely to be triggered before the January transfer window opens due to his injury.

Newcastle could now be tempted to reassess their transfer targets going into the final few weeks of the transfer window with a midfielder previously not believed to be a priority. The Magpies have been continually linked with a move for Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta throughout the summer.

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But head coach Eddie Howe is satisfied with his options in midfield with Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton and Joe Willock starting the Forest match on Saturday with Sean Longstaff and Elliot Anderson on the bench.

Longstaff came on as a late substitute for Joe Willock while Anderson is still waiting to make his first competitive outing under Howe.

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The 19-year-old had been linked with a loan move away from the club this summer following an impressive loan spell at Bristol Rovers in League Two last season.

But the teenager’s impressive form throughout pre-season convinced Howe to keep him as part of Newcastle’s first team plans and the subsequent injury to Shelvey has only solidified that decision.