Former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has insisted that Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey should be given the chance to prove himself on international stage at this year’s World Cup.
The 26-year-old has been the subject of much debate when it comes to England’s selection for their trip to Russia, but missed out on a Three Lions call up for the current international break.
While admitting there were doubts over whether the six-cap maestro had the mentality or the discipline to star for England, Sherwood said that his quality on the ball should mean he is handed a call up for the squad when Gareth Southgate makes his decision.
He told Sky Sports’ The Debate podcast (23/03): “He is different class when he has got the ball, Jonjo.
“He can pick a pass. He is not afraid to give the ball, he has a swagger about him.
“Without a doubt he should be in and around the squad.
“The question is going to be discipline. Is he going to step in to centre-back when Kyle Walker bombs on and is overlapping on the right-hand side?”
This season Shelvey has made 24 appearances for Newcastle, scoring a single goal and chipping in with two assists.
Football Insider verdict
It appears as though this debate over Shelvey’s inclusion in the England squad is set to rumble on until the end of the season, but the midfielder cannot allow it to impact on his performances. He plays at his best with a clear head and if he continues to put in the bright displays he has been, then there could well be a call up coming his way. Discipline is obviously an issue but is it worth sacrificing for the 26-year-old’s talent? It depends on whether Southgate wants a game changer with a sublime passing range in his locker, or someone who can do the basics well, but will not fire up the Three Lions. For now, he has to focus on his club – only then will his country take notice.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are on the verge of a triple boost and could have it practically sealed in three weeks.