The incident happened back when Southgate was in charge of the Three Lion’s U21 squad, which could explain why he has always overlooked Shelvey as an option for the first-team several years later.
Our midfield maestro has been capped six times for England, but his most recent appearance was back in 2015, when Shelvey was just 23-years-old.
Five years on he’s yet to return to the international set up, but his latest revelation during an in depth chat with Youtube channel ‘In The Box‘ helps explain why:
“We had this thing once when he got the U21s job.
“At the time I was bordering between the U21s and the senior squad,”
“He rang me up and I’d just moved to Swansea.
“He rang me up and said ‘you’ve got Europa League games coming up’ because we had qualifying rounds to get in (to the competition).
“He said I’m not going to put you in the squad and that by the time the tournamant comes round he (Southgate) didn’t expect me to be with them, he’d expect me to be with the seniors.
“He said ‘I’m not going to put you in the squad, it gives me a chance to look at other people.’
“They went and lost their games, and the press said ‘why wasn’t Jonjo Shelvey in the squad?’.
“He said he’d obviously asked for me to be in it and I said no..
“Then there was a massive thing out in the press that I’d turned my back on my country and then a month later I got called up to the senior squad, and then I’ve had to go on national television and say that he’d told me he was going to look at other players and he expected me to be with the senior squad.
“So I pulled him and said what’s all that about? He sort of didn’t really give me an answer, so I’d just left it at that.
“He made me look like the bad guy, I’d never ever turn my back down on my country.”
The back-end of the 2017/18 season saw Shelvey have one of his most impressive spells of form in his career, helping us secure 10th position in the Premier League in our first season since promotion.
This came off the back of the Championship winning season which he was an integral part of, with Ian Holloway declaring Shelvey as “the best player to ever play in the division.”
His form saw Toon supporters clamouring for Shelvey to be selected for the World Cup squad, especially given the likes of Fabian Delph made the cut, but he was ignored.
Discipline issues and inconsistency has often plagued his career, but with him clearing up his act in recent years yet still failing to get a look in, this story perhaps helps explain why the pair have never seen eye to eye.