By Dominic Toner
Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has revealed that he hired a personal trainer to help him shed some weight and be fit for the new season.
The Englishman fell out of favour with manager Rafa Benitez and was dropped from the starting 11 in the final months of last season despite being stand-in club captain in the absence of the injured Fabricio Coloccini.
He told Newcastle TV: “I have lost six or seven kilos since last season. I didn’t really have a summer holiday, I went away for a week, and came back and five weeks with a personal trainer trying to get myself in decent nick for the season to give myself the best chance to come and play.
“I want to play as much as possible, I want to be a regular starter. It hurt me last year. I didn’t show it, I was very professional and took it on the chin. Hopefully I can start this season and we can get back up to the Premier League.”
Shelvey only joined Newcastle in January this year after sealing a costly £12million deal from Swansea City.
He made 15 appearances in the second-half of the season and failed to score in that time as he was deployed in a deep-lying playmaker position, and couldn’t manage to reach the form which earned him his England caps.
With Euro sensation Moussa Sissoko rumoured to be exiting St James’ Park and a possible move to Liverpool on the cards, the battle for a midfield position appears to be one that Shelvey could win.
Jack Colback, Vurnon Anita and Cheick Tiote are the other central midfield options at the disposal of Benitez, with the latter being targeted by French club Marseille.
The Spaniard Benitez has been busy in the window adding Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, Matz Sels, Isaac Hayden and Jesus Gamez to his squad, and is now looking to bring in Blackburn’s captain Grant Hanley.
In other Newcastle news, they are still hoping to strike a deal over £13million attacker.