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Why Jonjo Shelvey can play against Newcastle but Chris Wood can not?

One on the pitch, the other on the stands. Loaned life.

Tottenham Hotspur v Nottingham Forest - Premier League Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Newcastle will make the trip to Nottingham to play Nott Forest on the road on Friday evening.

In case you don’t know about it, the Tricky Trees have two players on their roster that played for the Magpies as recently as earlier this season: forward Chris Wood and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

Jonjo Shelvey, who had spent the previous seven seasons on Tyneside, got sold to Nott Forest through the January transfer window. He left Newcastle having a title, if you wish, to his name: the 2016-17 Championship crown when he helped the Magpies achieve promotion to the Premier League having joined the side one season after that from Swansea.

Chris Wood, on the other hand, only arrived at Newcastle a little over a year ago in one of Eddie Howe’s first moves after getting the handles of the club. Wood was signed from Burnley in the winter market in a highly-criticized move by the Magpies—they paid the full release clause, which seemed like a clear overpayment—but Wood was a proven and tested player that was needed back then in order to help the team in their challenge of avoiding relegation.

Just a year after signing Wood, Newcastle moved on from the English forward and sent him to Nott Forest last January. Keyword: sent, not sold.

And by sent, I mean loaned. Right now, and for the remainder of the season, Wood will play at Nott Forest while on loan from Newcastle. Of course, there is a little trick to this whole thing in the fact that the loan includes a must-buy clause to be executed when the loan ends next June.

Under the official terms of this deal, Wood can’t face Newcastle while on loan at Nott Forest, contrary to Shelvey’s contract (a full-time, fully acquired one) with the Tricky Trees.

Even then, though, Chris Wood is currently injured having suffered some issues in Nott Forest’s most recent game against Tottenham last weekend, preventing him from appearing in tomorrow’s game anyway even if he’d been eligible to play. Steve Cooper, Forest’s manager, said Wednesday that “Chris would not have been able to play through injury,” clarifying that “at the same time, he would be ineligible to play due to registration with the loan.”

On slightly more positive news for Nott Forest (and bad, maybe, for Newcastle), Shelvey is available and fit to feature for the Tricky Trees on Friday. Cooper said that “[Shelvey and Jack Colback] are now focused on Forest and what it takes to do well,” ruling out any sort of conflict of interest between the current Forest players and their past in Black and White stripes.

Jack Colback, for context, also played at Newcastle’s first team for the last time back in the 2016-17 season when he appeared in 29 games (starting 24 of them) before getting sold to Nott Forest a year later where he went on to start all 16 games he played for the then-Championship club.