By Will Butcher

Ian Holloway has claimed that Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is the best player to ever play in the Championship.

Shelvey was named in Holloway’s Championship team of the season so far, alongside Toon stars Jamaal Lascelles and Dwight Gayle.

Former manager Holloway, now a pundit with Sky Sports, described Shelvey as a “Rolls Royce footballer” after starring in the black and white stripes of Rafa Benitez’s league leaders.

“Shelvey is the first name on the teamsheet. He’s a genius – the best I’ve ever seen play in the Championship,” Holloway claimed in his Sky Sports column.

“He can get it off the centre-halves, dictate play and go beyond into the final third. When he gets into shooting positions he also has the quality to either score or find one of his mates. Shelvey is a Rolls Royce of a footballer.”

England international Shelvey has not missed a game for Newcastle this season, appearing in all 19 league and cup encounters.

The former Liverpool and Charlton star’s form has even impressed his teammates, with Isaac Hayden claiming that an England call-up is not far away.

Alongside the likes of Hayden, Jack Colback or Vurnon Anita, Shelvey has scored three goals for the league leaders as well as providing six strikes in assists.

Shelvey is expected to start against Yorkshire giants Leeds on November 20, as the Championship season pauses for two weeks to make way for the international break.

In other Newcastle news, another Sky Sports pundit has claimed that he expects Newcastle to re-open the cheque book in January.