Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is optimistic about Jonjo Shelvey’s chances of featuring against Arsenal this weekend.

The midfielder has been absent in recent times as he works his way back from a minor injury. Speaking ahead of the clash against the Gunners, as quoted by the Shields Gazette, Benitez delivered a positive update on the condition of Shelvey.

We have had Jonjo training, and (Matt) Ritchie’s still with the physio, but they’re pushing. These two players are the kind of players that you have to stop them because they want to play and they’re working really, really hard to be there. So, we will see.

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Shelvey was unavailable for selection in Newcastle’s last two Premier League fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City prior to the international break but is making clear progress in his recovery.

The former Liverpool man is back in full first-team training and it seems, according to Benitez, he will return to the fold against Arsenal unless any further damage is sustained.

Still, we have some time, but at least Jonjo was training. If we don’t have any problems, he can be there. It’s too soon to say ‘yes’, but I am quite optimistic.

Shelvey will be desperately hoping to influence proceedings when the Magpies come head to head with Arsenal as the team look to secure their first three points of the new Premier League season.

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