Jonjo Shelvey – Mr. Consistent

Jonjo Shelvey is delivering good performances on a consistent basis under Rafael Benitez at Newcastle United. Having moved to Newcastle from Swansea in January 2016, Shelvey has found a new lease of life on Tyneside. Shelvey stuck with Newcastle despite relegation, a large part of that reason was Rafael Benitez who can get the very best out of the midfielder.

Shelvey served a five game ban earlier this season for allegedly using racist remarks towards a fellow professional against Wolves. Shelvey has proven to be a vital player for Newcastle this season, this was proved when Newcastle struggled to control games during the Englishman’s absence. It has been known this season for Shelvey to be man marked for the entire 90 minutes, however it hasn’t stopped Shelvey from producing a midfield masterclass week in week out in the Championship. If Shelvey was in the Premier League and playing to this standard he would be in the England squad, unfortunately Championship players are hardly ever called up to the national side – which needs to change.

Shelvey has a unique talent for an English midfielder, not many can provide an array of passes like Shelvey can. When Shelvey made the big decision to leave Liverpool for Swansea, Steven Gerrard tried to persuade him to stay at Anfield. When a player of Gerrard’s calibre tries to persuade a teammate to stay, you know he must be good! Shelvey can make the killer pass from just about anywhere on the field in an instant. His vision and his reading of the game is exquisite. Shelvey must feel invisible every time he plays for Newcastle this season – he has been that good.

From the outside, there will be doubters, there will be people who say that the Championship is a much lower level to the Premier League. That just isn’t true, the Premier League is a lot quicker, but the standard of football in the Championship is very high. Shelvey has already proved that he can perform in the Premier League. Newcastle fans adore him, not just because of his quality, but he has a fiery personality. He will never leave anything on the pitch, giving his absolute maximum in every game, something that the Geordie faithful love in a player.

Shelvey deserves to be in the next England squad, Gareth Southgate must break the mould and look at the quality that is in the Championship at the moment. Shelvey is lethal and he is just the kind of player England need to finally fill the void left by Steven Gerrard. Shelvey has started to add goals to his game this season, registering four times so far and providing seven assists. His performances have been so good that he is probably one of the first names on the Newcastle team sheet.

Jonjo Shelvey is an attack minded player, he always looks to play the ball forward. Too many times when an England midfielder has the ball, he will hesitate or play it back to the defence. England’s attacks are often slow because the players lack the confidence to try something new. Shelvey will offer something completely different to the England side – creativity. England have lacked creativity for a long time now and Shelvey is the answer to their midfield woes.

Shelvey has come progressed a lot under the watchful eye of Benitez at Newcastle. It is now time for Gareth Southgate to let Shelvey shine on the international stage.