Jonjo Shelvey for England and to make the plane to Russia?
I suppose there are two ways, at least, of looking at it.
Either the Newcastle midfielder is timing his return to form perfectly in the lead up this final England squad before the season ends.
Or, it is a case of too little too late.
You have to think that if Jonjo Shelvey had played all season, as he has done in these last two home matches against Man Utd and Southampton, it would be very difficult for anybody to argue he didn’t deserve to be on that plane to the World Cup finals.
The last England squad saw both Jake Livermore and Jack Cork selected…
On Thursday Gareth Southgate names his latest squad for the friendlies against Italy and Holland,
Sky Sports have already analysed potential goalkeepers to go to Russia, as well as defenders including Jamaal Lascelles, now they are considering which England midfielders should go – including Jonjo Shelvey.
Looking at the analysis and bookies odds below, I’m guessing Shelvey is trying to get in ahead of one or more of the likes of Delph, Winks, Wilshere and maybe Loftus-Cheek.
The Newcastle midfielder’s obvious advantage is his passing, arguably the best of any England possible. These recent games for NUFC have seen a very definite improvement in his work ethic, making him look a more complete midfielder. As an impact sub over in Russia, I would argue he could/would be a better bet than many of these other candidates.
Sky Sports analysis on the England midfielders vying for Russia:
‘There have been calls from some quarters for Jonjo Shelvey to get the call. Shelvey struggles for consistency, but when he does turn it on, he can be very effective – just as he was in Newcastle’s surprise win over Manchester United.
Out-of-favour Chelsea duo Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater have not played enough football to warrant getting into Southgate’s squad, but may sneak in due to past reputation. Fabian Delph is another without many games under their belt still in with a shout of a call-up.
The real surprise call-up could be if Southgate elects to give Andros Townsend his chance once again. Statistically, Townsend ranks among the top-performing English midfielders, despite Crystal Palace languishing just above the relegation zone,
According to Sky Bet, the central midfielders most likely to get called up are Dier (1/10), Henderson (1/3), Wilshere (1/2), with Delph and Winks (both 6/4). Alli is a near-certainty at 1/20, as is Lingard (1/8).
Out wide, Sterling (1/12) and Lallana (8/11), despite his injury woes, are odds-on to get the call, while Loftus-Cheek’s performance against Germany has shortened his odds, despite his injury lay off. (7/2).
Outside bets include Shelvey (10/1), Cook (10/1), Cork (22/1), and Townsend (16/1).’