Jonjo Shelvey struggled over the second half of the season and was soon in the Development Squad, which has led to many speculating over his future.
Rumours have started surfacing over a possible move to Upton Park with West Ham United but Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he sees Shelvey as part of the long term future of his current team.
Rodgers has praised Shelvey for his impact this season and says he wants his midfielder, along with several other youngsters, to follow the example of Juan Mata when it comes to using a national Under-21 setup to become a more complete player.
Liverpool have four representatives in England’s squad, which will travel to Israel for the Under-21 European Championship and Rodgers has given every indication that he’s not looking to force Shelvey out of the exit door.
“It's great for Jordan, Jonjo, Andre and Jack to be part of it. I always think going to big championships like that is great for their learning. All these football experiences are good for them,” Rodgers told the Liverpool website.
It’s all progressive and Rodgers certainly wouldn’t be talking about the experience Shelvey and the others can gain for the immediate future if he was thinking about bringing down the axe.
The comments should also come as welcome relief to the midfielder who may have been starting to doubt his own ability following Rodgers’ decision to drop him to the Liverpool Development Squad.
£ Look at someone like Juan Mata. Two years ago he dropped down from the senior Spain squad to the U21s and helped them win the tournament,” added Rodgers.
A solid performance in the England Under-21 midfield this season means he can hit the ground running when he comes back to Anfield for pre-season.
That will give Shelvey every chance of holding down a regular place in the Liverpool first team in and around a very competitive group of young players who may all be looking to step all over each other for a chance.
One of the reasons Shelvey may have struggled over the second half of the season could have been the fact the pressure and weight of playing for Liverpool simply caught up with him.
Liverpool made good and sensible attacking additions last January with Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho coming to the club, which meant Rodgers could take some of that pressure away from Shelvey.
He’s still a very young man and he’s on a very long contract and while he may not be as subtle as some of the other midfielders at the club, Rodgers has made it clear if he plays well for England, he could be in the Liverpool side for the next campaign.
Do you think Shelvey is safe from the Liverpool axe?
image: © kong niffe