Jonjo Shelvey reckons he’d have forged a better career for himself if he’d stayed at Liverpool rather than departing in 2013.
The Englishman arrived at Anfield as a precocious talent in 2010 and actually made 47 Premier League appearances for the Reds – but he spent three years at Swansea and then moved to Newcastle and has never fulfilled his massive potential.
In terms of technical ability, Shelvey is wonderful – two footed, with vision and a superb long pass. But he perhaps has not had the motivation to maximise his potential in the manner that others of lesser ability have.
“I was only 21 when I left,” he tells Sky Sports. “I don’t think you would find many other players who go there at 17 and leave at 21 and I think that speaks a lot of what I’m like as a character. I wasn’t happy playing one or two games then coming out of the team. I wanted to carry on playing week in, week out.
“I’d been on loan at Blackpool, and at Charlton I’d been obviously playing at such an early age. I don’t think that helped because you get that knack for playing games and constantly being in the team. When you’re playing once and then not playing for six games, I don’t care what any footballer says, you don’t feel involved. You don’t feel part of the team.
“I think that was the feeling I wanted but, in hindsight, should I have stayed? Probably, yeah. Even if it was only for another year or two, just to see how things changed. But it is what it is at the end of the day.
“Every decision I’ve made in my career was just to play, to try and get as much game-time as possible. I can’t say I’ve got too many regrets.”
We could probably compare Shelvey with Jordan Henderson. Around 2013, Brendan Rodgers wanted to offload the latter, but he refused and eventually worked himself into being a Champions League winning captain and the likely Premier League Player of the Year for 2019/20.
Shelvey decided to leave and with that, his chances of being at an elite club likely ended. It’s not often somebody leaves one of the big six permanently and arrives back a few years later.