Gerrard: Jonjo can go right to the top

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY OCTOBER 11 - By JIMMY POL­LOCK

ENG­LAND skip­per Steven Gerrard reck­ons Liver­pool team-mate Jonjo Shelvey has a mas­sive fu­ture for club and coun­try.

Shelvey, 20, was a sur­prise emer­gency call-up to the Three Lions squad as he has only made 10 Premier League starts.

The most re­cent of those saw the mid­fielder sent off against Man United for a two-footed tackle.

But Gerrard – who is banned for Fri­day’s game af­ter be­ing sent off against Ukraine last month – reck­ons the for­mer Charl­ton man is a real prospect.

He said: “Jonjo’s been im­prov­ing all the time since he ar­rived at Liver­pool and has grown into a good foot­baller with good vi­sion who can cre­ate and score goals.

“He also lis­tens which means he’ll only get bet­ter with more games.”

Liver­pool boss Bren­dan Rodgers has been giv­ing young­sters a chance.

Gerrard added: “There’s a real big fu­ture here for the young lads and Jonjo is one of them.

Ben­e­fit

“He has shown in the early stages of the sea­son that he’ll play a prom­i­nent role in the de­vel­op­ment of the team over the next cou­ple of years.

“To get called into the full Eng­land squad is tes­ta­ment to what he’s done so far. It will be a great ex­pe­ri­ence for him.

“He’ll work with some top play­ers and that can only ben­e­fit him.”

At 32, Gerrard knows he only has a hand­ful of sea­sons left as an in­ter­na­tional him­self.

He needs two more caps to reach the 100 mark, but for­mer Three Lions winger Chris Wad­dle has a plan to help him go even fur­ther.

Wad­dle wants him to con­vert to cen­tre-back, just like Ger­man trio Lothar Matthaus, Franz Beck­en­bauer and Matthias Sam­mer did.

He said: “Steven’s good enough to con­vert to a cen­tre-half. He’s com­pet­i­tive, he reads the game bril­liantly and has a ter­rific range of pass­ing.

“The Ger­mans have been do­ing it for years.”

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