Former Liverpool star Steve McMahon believes Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey should be in the England World Cup squad this summer over Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere.
The Gunners ace has had a fine season back at the Emirates Stadium after being out on loan at Bournemouth last term, but still doesn’t look guaranteed to make Gareth Southgate’s squad for the tournament in Russia.
Interestingly, if Wilshere were to make the cut he’d represent something of a rarity in the current crop of England players as a study by Betting.net shows a real lack of talent being developed from the East and South West of the country.
Still, McMahon believes his place could be taken by another player brought up through London-based academies, saying Shelvey would be the superior creative option for the Three Lions in the middle of the park.
‘Jonjo Shelvey has more of a range,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘Wilshere doesn’t do enough for me.
‘You talk about Shelvey’s character, but look at Wilshere’s injury problems. You couldn’t afford to take Adam Lallana and Wilshere.
‘He likes him as a footballer, and you don’t play that number of games for Arsenal unless you’re a good footballer, but that’s what he is – he’s a good footballer.
‘You’ve got to have lots of other strings to your bow. We’re talking about winning a World Cup, not signing a new deal at Arsenal for however many years.
‘Six or seven weeks, can you open a game up, can you see a pass and I think Shelvey can see more than Wilshere does.’