The new 2015/16 campaign has certainly started on a positive note for Garry Monk and his determined Swansea City outfit.
Last weekend’s entertaining triumph over the Magpies highlighted just how deadly the Swans could prove this term, especially after their impressive performance against Chelsea the week before.
One man who has so far played a defining role within the team’s success however, arrives in the form of ex-England U21 international, Jonjo Shelvey. The former Reds midfielder has definitely improved on his overall game whilst operating at the Liberty Stadium, which will nonetheless come as music to the ears of all the Swansea City fans out there currently enjoying the 23-year-old’s contribution to their team.
Having said that though, perhaps Brendan Rodgers and the loyal Anfield faithful ultimately won’t feel the same about Jonjo Shelvey’s recent success in the Premier League. If things had played out differently for the young Englishman a few seasons back, the creative midfielder could still be doing the business in a Liverpool shirt as opposed to his current Swansea colours.
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With the Reds distinctly failing to capitalise on their prior domestic success throughout the course of last term, a player such as Shelvey may have potentially been able to improve Rodgers’ squad, albeit rather subtly, had he still been available for selection at Anfield.
So then, should Liverpool distinctly regret selling the former Charlton academy graduate to Swansea in the summer of 2013, or is Jonjo Shelvey still simply not good enough for the Reds in the cold light of day?
Well, considering the fact that Liverpool are ultimately operating a cut above Swansea in regards to achieving European qualification and maintaining a higher place in the league table, Shelvey’s recent successes at the Liberty arguably couldn’t be transferred to the situation at Anfield as readily as many have suggested.
The pressure at a club such as Liverpool far exceeds the atmosphere in and around the Welsh side with all things considered. The Reds need players to hit the ground running and not hold the rest of their side back when it matters out on the pitch. Although Brendan Rodgers must obviously still grant time to his youngsters looking to make their way through the ranks at Anfield, sometimes up and coming talents simply need nipping in the bud if their progress is not satisfactory.
And whilst his recent spell with the Swans seems to be offering up a great deal of positivity to say the very least, Jonjo Shelvey’s experience at Liverpool was far from profitable. He ultimately looked nowhere near the level required for Brendan Rodgers whenever he pulled on the Reds shirt, which fails to discredit the Merseysiders from eventually parting ways with the 23-year-old in the summer of 2013.
He just never seemed like a Liverpool player in all honesty. It’s one things being able to look good for Swansea against the lesser sides the Premier League has to offer, but successfully doing the business at Anfield on a regular basis is another matter altogether.
However, even though the Swans obviously don’t fall in the same category as Liverpool in terms of success, history and prestige, maybe Brendan Rodgers could have issued a little bit more time to Shelvey before pulling the trigger. Yes, he never quite looked like a Liverpool player in the cold light of day – but can the same be said of the likes of Joe Allen, Danny Ings and Lucas amongst others – the answer could well be, no.
If Liverpool want to continuously sign fairly average players who wouldn’t have got anywhere near their starting XI in seasons past, then that’s their prerogative. The Reds have certainly been weakened since Rafa Benitez left Merseyside in 2010, which just goes to show that not every side in the Premier League can enjoy their moment in the sun at once.
The external wealth on offer behind the scenes at the Etihad and Stamford Bridge has merely served to oust clubs like Liverpool away from the Premier League’s top spots in the modern era. Whilst it may make difficult reading for all the loyal Reds fans out there, this is the direction football seems to be heading in nowadays.
Of course Jonjo Shelvey simply isn’t a top-four player with all things considered – even in light of his recent form and potential to improve later on in his career. However, because Liverpool arguably don’t actually represent a top-four side anymore, perhaps Brendan Rodgers should have held onto the current Swansea favourite a little while longer after all.