Home Premier League Newcastle Why £12million-midfielder must start ahead of Mikel Merino in the crucial game...

Why £12million-midfielder must start ahead of Mikel Merino in the crucial game against Swansea

Newcastle will attempt to make it 2 Premier League wins in as many games when they visit Liberty Stadium on Sunday to face-off with Swansea on matchday 4.

Following back-to-back losses on their return to the topflight, the Toons finally secured their first win of the season with a 3-nil victory over West Ham prior to the international break.

The Swansea clash is crucial for manager Rafa Benitez as he looks to further steer his side far away from the drop zone, and it’s why he must get his tactics and selection spot on against the Welsh hosts.

England international Jonjo Shelvey is set to return to the matchday squad after serving his 3-match ban as a result of the red card he picked up against Tottenham, and he must be returned to the starting XI in order to boost Newcastle’s chances of leaving Liberty Stadium with all 3 points.

While summer arrival Mikel Merino was a capable replacement in the last 2 games standing in for Shelvey, the on-loan Borussia Dortmund youngster is still without the needed experience to produce consistent displays in the middle of the Park.

The 21-year-old Spaniard was splendid during the international break, scoring and assisting in a 3-nil friendly over Italy under-21, but it’s the way experienced Shelvey that should get the nod for Sunday.

The 25-year-old has a point to prove against his former club, and knows a thing or two about playing a tricky away match. Unleashing him against his former employers could prove decisive for Newcastle.