Steven Gerrard turned 30 in May this year. Therefore, it can be said that he has entered the twilight of his illustrious career. The reign of captain Stevie G is almost over. But alas, Liverpool fans, there is no need to fear or fret, because Rafael Benitez, before he left, made what I’m sure will prove to be one of the best ever signings in English football. Charlton Athletic youngster, Jonjo Shelvey, is now at Liverpool.
A few months ago, Liverpool beat a host of clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham to the signing of England’s next legend. The fee, believed to be in the region of 1.7 million pounds and could rise to about 3 million pounds, will prove to be one of the best long-term investment buys of modern football.
18 year old Shelvey has the world at his feet and now has the opportunity to take it by storm. But, why am I comparing him to Steven Gerrard? Well, let me share some interesting facts with you:
Should Shelvey make his debut later this year for Liverpool, he would be at the exact age that Gerrard made his debut back in 1998. Also, interestingly enough, they both currently stand at the exact same height- 6 feet. They both have the same playing style as well. We are aware of Gerrard’s box-to-box playing style and that’s exactly how Shelvey plays. We are also aware of Gerrard’s other role as a supporting striker behind Fernando Torres. Shelvey also excels in that role. Both players also score goals from midfield. Indeed, those are some very interesting similarities between both players.
Shelvey has represented England at 2 levels in his career thus far- U16 and U17. For the U16’s, Shelvey captained the team to glory in the 2007 Victory Shield, scoring 3 goals in 3 games in the process. He also played a key role in the Montaigu Tournament which England won for the first time in 7 years, playing in all 4 games and scoring a penalty in the final against France. For the U17’s, he scored on his debut against Estonia in a thumping 7-0 win. Surely, he is one to look out for at U21 level and of course at the big stage, the senior team.
So, overall, it has to be said that this kid is a remarkable talent and with time and opportunities, he will blossom into a homegrown world beater. At a time when Liverpool and England cannot call on Steven Gerrard, they will certainly be encouraged to turn to his natural successor, Jonjo Shelvey.