Benitez backs Shelvey to end Southgate’s creative search

Newcastle United
Rafael Benitez is convinced Jonjo Shelvey can give England something different as boss Gareth Southgate looks for a new Paul Gascoigne.

Rafael Benitez is convinced Jonjo Shelvey can give England something different as boss Gareth Southgate looks for a new Paul Gascoigne.

Southgate bemoaned the lack of a ‘game-changing’ midfielder during the latest international break and, while Newcastle’s Shelvey maybe a different type of player to the former Magpies star, club boss Benitez is convinced he has plenty to offer at international level.

Asked if he could be a creative force for England, the Spaniard said: ‘For me, yes, for sure, because he has the quality, he has the vision, he can make these passes that strikers like behind the defenders, things like that.

‘But especially because in a team, in a squad, you have to have different kinds of players and I don’t see too many like Jonjo in the team.

‘Southgate is the manager, he has to decide. I am the manager of Newcastle United, Shelvey is my player. Can he play for England? Yes, that’s it.’

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