During the January transfer window, West Ham were hoping to sign Jonjo Shelvey from Premier League rivals Newcastle United.
This move never materialised and the Hammers did not sign anyone to bolster the midfield options.
But Shelvey’s struggled since January indicate that West Ham may have dodged a bullet with this deal.
West Ham wanted Jonjo Shelvey
West Ham identified Shelvey as the ideal man to replace Pedro Obiang, should the Hammers midfielder depart.
According to The London Evening Standard, Shelvey would have become West Ham’s top target if Obiang completed his £10m move to Fiorentina.
But neither deal materialised, leaving Obiang at The London Stadium and boyhood Hammers fan Shelvey at St James’ Park.
Jonjo Shelvey struggles
But Shelvey has since struggled to play any matches due to some injury concerns and the form of Sean Longstaff.
Alongside Isaac Hayden, Longstaff has formed a strong Newcastle central midfield partnership which has been the bedrock behind their upturn in form.
And with Mo Diame and Ki Sung-yeung on the bench, Shelvey has not been included in the match day squad recently.
Benitez has addressed the 27-year-old’s struggles, telling The Chronicle: “Jonjo needs to prove his match fitness, but match fitness you can only prove by playing games, so it is not easy [for him] at the moment.”
Considering West Ham’s injury list, it was probably wise that Manuel Pellegrini stuck with Obiang instead of Shelvey.