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Eddie Howe believes Jonjo Shelvey is showing ‘maturity’ in the Newcastle United midfield.

With Jamaal Lascelles unable to muscle his way back into the team following the great form of Fabian Schar and Dan Burn at the back, Shelvey has often been asked to lead the side in his absence.

And to his credit, the 30-year-old has done this well during United’s upturn in form in 2022, having put injury problems that hampered his start to the season behind him.

Since Howe’s arrival, Shelvey has missed just three games through injury and started every one of the other 19 games under new management, failing to complete 90 minutes on just two occasions in that time.

Shelvey was one player that some sections of the fan base believed would struggle to adapt to Howe’s demands when he took over from Steve Bruce, particularly the defensive side of his game.

However, Howe, speaking before his side’s trip to Carrow Road, insisted that Shelvey’s willingness to work hard in defence is one of the major reasons for his ‘outstanding’ form.

“Certainly since I have been here I have seen a real maturity in Jonjo. I’ve seen someone who is very, very focused on his football and wants to do very, very well for himself and the team.” Howe said.

“Huge talent. Huge technical talent, huge. He’s got an array of passing that I’ve not experienced before and he can see and deliver things, not just see it but deliver it as well, that not many of the players on the pitch can do.

“Defensively, I think this is the big thing for us, that defensively he has been outstanding for us.

“The amount of times he has put himself in the right position to stop a dangerous moment or he’s had to transition back, sprint back and clear a dangerous ball for us has been huge.

“So it’s a big compliment to him on that because I don’t think that has necessarily been his trademark in his game previously.

“I think if it’s maturity on the defensive side [of his game] then definitely, it’s a big positive for us and Jonjo.”

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