By Derek Smithson
Newcastle United travel to Swansea on Sunday in the Premier League – and the club’s supporters on Twitter have urged Rafael Benitez to axe Ayoze Perez from the starting line-up.
The Magpies resume after the international break with a trip to the Liberty Stadium and will be looking to emulate the performance they showed in their last game against West Ham.
Benitez’ side beat the Hammers 3-0 before the international break to pick up their first points of the season.
Perez completed 90 minutes in the league win over West Ham and picked up an assist as a reward for his high work-rate.
However, the manager has a selection headache ahead of the weekend as Jonjo Shelvey is available again after serving his suspension.
Newcastle fans on social media believe that attacking midfielder Perez should be axed from the starting line-up and many of them have suggested Shelvey replaces him in the number 10 role.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
Let's hope Shelvey has learnt his lesson, for me Perez needs to drop to the bench with Shelvey in attacking midfield away from trouble #nufc
— Gaz (@GaryBMarshall) September 7, 2017
— Dan (@DZ1892) September 7, 2017
In a middle 3 I'd start him but that means sacrificing the no.10 Perez.I thought he worked socks off last week.Shelvey cannot close down.
— Horse Punchers Utd (@NUFCWaiter) September 6, 2017
Perez isn't good enough he gets fragged about, keep merino in the team, play shelvey further up and let him Bang goals with that right foot
— Kieran ???? (@Kieranthompson0) September 6, 2017
Play both and drop Ayoze Perez ???? https://t.co/H8ffoZt088
— Matt (@MatthewArnott) September 6, 2017
Drop Perez and play Shelvey a little further forward. Will make us stronger without the ball too which we'll need at Swansea.
— Wayne Haselden (@WayneHaselden) September 5, 2017
Perez’s position in the starting XI has come under question as Shelvey gets set for his return and the latter usually plays in a central midfield role.
However, the pairing of Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino impressed against West Ham and it may be hard for Benitez to break up that combination.
Many fans have suggested pushing Shelvey into a more advanced role, something that he has done earlier in his career.
That would leave Perez omitted from the starting line-up despite starting all three games so far this season in the Premier League and being a big favourite of the manager.
The Spaniard was integral to Newcastle’s promotion last season and scored 12 goals plus seven assists in 41 appearances across all competitions.
However, Newcastle supporters don’t believe he should be involved in the starting XI against Swansea as a result of Shelvey’s return.
In other Newcastle United news, Mick Quinn has delivered his verdict ahead of the Swansea clash.