Former England manager Glenn Hoddle has revealed that he would seriously consider taking Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey to this year’s World Cup in Russia if he were still in charge of the Three Lions.
In his most recent Daily Mail article, Hoddle sang the praises of the 26-year-old midfielder, touting him as a wildcard option for an England side who may be looking for something different in midfield this summer.
The central midfielder has shown some genuine signs of improvement under Rafa Benitez this season, scoring two goals and assisting on two others, and Hoddle considers him to be a wild-card option who should be seriously considered for a spot on the plane to Russia.
“It might surprise a few people when I say I would take Jonjo Shelvey to the World Cup, as he is a maverick who hasn’t played in qualifying matches.
“The one thing he provides which England lack, with Adam Lallana’s fitness in question, is a pass from midfield which opens doors. He can pick out players with a precisely-weighted ball over the top or a pass threaded through a group of defenders.”
Shelvey’s lack of recent international experience could end up counting against him when Gareth Southgate selects his provisional squad on Tuesday, but Hoddle thinks that the ex-Liverpool man’s creative abilities will convince the current England manager to take a gamble.
“Shelvey is a player you would bring on for the last 15 minutes. If you need a goal, he can unlock defences and if you’re winning and a team is attacking you, he has the ability to launch a quick counterattack and open a team up.”