Former Newcastle United midfielder says England need Jonjo Shelvey

According to an interview he did with BBC Radio 5 Live, via the The Chronicle, former Newcastle United midfielder Chris Waddle has praised current Magpies star Jonjo Shelvey and believes he should be in the England squad.

Gareth Southgate’s men needed a last-gasp winner from Harry Kane to beat Slovenia 1-0 at Wembley on Thursday night and secure their spot at next summer’s World Cup in Russia, and now talk will turn to who should be in the final squad.

Shelvey has six caps to his name but hasn’t represented the Three Lions since 2015, with Newcastle’s relegation, a season playing for the Toon Army in the Championship and being banned for using racially-abusive language towards Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Romain Saiss hardly boosting his chances.

The former Liverpool and Swansea man now finds himself back in the top flight but he hardly helped his chances of getting the call from Southgate when he was sent off for stamping on Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Dele Alli on the opening day of the campaign.

However, Waddles believes that Shelvey can bring something to the centre of the park that the likes of Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier and Jake Livermore can’t, and he has praised his ability on the ball.

The 56-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live, via The Chronicle: “People knock me down when I say it, but Jonjo Shelvey is the best I’ve seen at passing the ball at distance.

“But he won’t get in the squad for reasons we don’t know.”

England’s lack of options and quality in the middle of the park may well have opened the door for a potential return to the squad for Shelvey in the future, but he must do the business on the pitch for Newcastle first and foremost and produce more performances like the one he did against Liverpool on Sunday.