Paul Merson is rarely one to praise anything related to NUFC, however he’s not held back about Jonjo Shelvey – claiming the United midfielder has ‘the best range of passing in the league’ and should play for England against Italy on Tuesday.
This all comes after the Sky pundit was asked who he felt should have made the England squad, with him mentioning Shelvey and in-form Brighton striker Glen Murray.
Not only did he throw Shelvey’s name forwarding, urging Southgate to give him a shot against Italy on Tuesday, he suggested him to be the best passer in the Premier League!
Here’s what he said to the Daily Star:
“Shelvey deserves a chance…No-one else passes the ball like him. Jonjo Shelvey has the best range in the league in my opinion. Even Jack Wilshere doesn’t have his passing range.”
“I know people say Jonjo Shelvey is a loose cannon but put him in the squad and let him play against the Italians, the biggest wind-up merchants in football, and if he loses his head, see you later.
“I think it’s a shame he’s not being given the chance to prove he can handle it.”
For what it’s worth, I agree with Merson’s general message – why not call-up Shelvey against England following Wilshere’s withdrawal? But, does Jonjo really have the best passing range in the Premier League?
Most of Merson’s brainless comments end up offending NUFC fans or playing down areas we should be praised in, but suggesting Shelvey has the best passing range in the top flight seems a little far fetched after watching Kevin De Bruyne’s frightening quality and consistency.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s few who can pass the ball like him in the Premier League, but I think most would agree that he needs to up his consistency considerably if we’re going to say he has the best range of passing.