Jonjo Shelvey's chance to lay down a marker after a fine showing at West Ham

Arguably like the majority of his Newcastle United career so far, Jonjo Shelvey's campaign up to now has carried the inconsistency that has slightly plagued his reputation for the Magpies. 

A fantastic season in the Championship three years ago and an even better one in 2017/18 left the midfielder in contention for the World Cup, but that wasn't to be.

But in Rafa Benitez' last season as manager Shelvey spent long periods out of the team, with the partnership of Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden taking centre stage in the second half of it. 

It has even been a rocky start under new head coach Steve Bruce, but despite being in and out of the team he is top scorer so far with two goals and looks to set to start vs AFC Bournemouth.

Reward for hard work

Bruce brought Shelvey back from the bench at West Ham United on Saturday, and it proved to be an inspired decision with him scoring the game-defining strike. 

It will almost be impossible to leave him out for Saturday after his performance at the London Stadium.

The unique factor about Shelvey is that whenever he finds himself out of the team, you still get the impression he just wants be out there playing, and often his best performances have come where he has had to prove a point. 

Like the Everton comeback last year, or his performance at Fulham on the final day and most recently at West Ham - arguably not many players are capable of such significant impacts when called upon from the dark.  

The hard work behind the scenes have made the difference.

Nail down a spot

Like they are in central defence, United have a range of options in the middle of the park and they have already used numerous different combinations.

It is a position that will inevitably need rotating with injuries and suspensions, but there has probably never been a better opportunity now for him to stake a claim as a regular starter.

Sean Longstaff is still suspended, his brother Matty is just starting out and Ki Sung-Yeung looks to be down the pecking order.

That leaves Shelvey and Hayden as the obvious pairing for now, and if performances are at a consistent level then maybe United's Championship-winning pair from 2016/17 may be reunited for the long run.

Contract talks in the air

Reports in the press this week stating that a new contract had been agreed for the 27-year-old were greeted with mixed views from supporters.

It was only just a few months ago in the summer when it was looking likely for a return to his boyhood club West Ham as well as links to the Bundesliga

But it is a game of opinions, and if he can nail down a spot and put together a string of match-winning contributions and re-discover the form of pre-World Cup then there's something to be optimistic about.

Only Jonjo Shelvey can make that happen, though,