Martin Keown has tipped Jonjo Shelvey as an outside favourite to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Wold Cup.
Shelvey played an influential role in the heart of Newcastle’s midfield as they shocked Arsenal with a 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon and his efforts have seen him put forward for a spot on the plane to Russia.
Speaking on BBC‘s Match of the Day on Sunday night, former England international Keown felt Shelvey could offer something different to the Southgate’s squad that currently doesn’t exist. Energy.
Jonjo Shelvey should be selected for England’s World Cup squad according to Martin Keown
‘I think he’s a special talent,’ Keown said. ‘He may have been a hot head in the past. This fella is like a golfer who can pick out the right club he needs when he needs it. If this was De Bruyne we would be off our seats.
‘He’s got everything in the bag and creates danger with his passing. Why not involve him? I think he’s got that talent that we need. It’s all in there waiting to come out.
‘It’s taken a long time but he’s got all the necessary tools. He wants to make things happen for his team.’
Shelvey, now 26 years old, has six caps to his name thus far with his last appearance coming against France under Roy Hodgson in November 2015.
Shelvey (right) was key to leading Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle to victory over Arsenal
Keown claimed on BBC’s Match of the Day that Shelvey would bring ‘creativity’ and ‘energy’
SHELVEY VS ARSENAL
Minutes played: 90
Passing accuracy: 64.9 per cent
Long passes: 16
Short passes: 21
Duels won: 2
Southgate has quite a task in selecting his 26-man squad for this summer’s tournament, with a number of midfielders looking to nail down a place in the final matches of the season.
Jake Livermore and Lewis Cook, who were both selected for the recent international friendlies with Italy and Holland, are likely to be Shelvey’s opposition in the fight for a seat. However, Keown believes the Magpies midfielder could add the relevant legs and creativity England need to be successful.
Keown added: ‘If you look at the England team at the moment, there are a lot of good runners. And if you’re a quarterback-type midfield player and we’re asking if Jordan Henderson can do that, well Shelvey can (actually) do that.
‘It’s interesting that they were both at Liverpool together and they were deemed unable to play in the same team. Maybe they could play if he sits with two midfield players. We need somebody in the squad to turn to when we need creativity.’
Shelvey last played for England under Roy Hodgson against France back in 2015
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.