Joe Cole has admitted that he hopes to see former Liverpool team-mate Jonjo Shelvey play for a “bigger club” than Newcastle United in the future.
Shelvey, 27, scored a wonder strike for the Magpies on Saturday to earn them a 2-2 draw against Manchester City and is currently the Tyneside club’s leading goalscorer with three goals in the Premier League.
He joined Newcastle from Liverpool in January 2016 but has shown a lot of inconsistency since heading to St James’ Park and that might have been one of the reasons why he never really made it on Merseyside.
However Cole has seen something from Shelvey to suggest that he is improving as a player and would like to see him return to one of the Premier League’s top clubs before it’s too late in his career.
“What I’ve noticed about Jonjo from watching him recently is that he’s shortened his game down. He doesn’t go for the killer pass all the time, he keeps the ball at the right times,” said Cole on BT Sport after the match on Saturday.
“He’s got a real game-management into his game now. He’s developing nicely.
“I just hope for himself that he’s still got enough years in him where he can maybe make the step back up into an even bigger club than Newcastle because I think he has got the ability.
“At 27, he’s still got his best years ahead of him.”
Cole may have noticed a difference to Shelvey’s game but the issue with the former Swansea midfielder is that he is way too inconsistent for Newcastle, let alone one of the top clubs in the Premier League. Yes, Shelvey scored a great goal against Man City and yes, he is Newcastle’s top scorer this season. But that does not mean that he has been playing brilliantly all season. Shelvey is a decent player on his day but never really stands out as one of the best in the Newcastle squad. This season we’ve seen the Longstaff brothers stand out more than him in the midfield while the defenders and Allan Saint-Maximin have also caught the eye at St James’ Park. Is Shelvey a stand-out player? Not at all, and that is down to his inconsistencies and his poor work-rate. Would any club that is supposedly “bigger” than Newcastle want to sign him? Probably not. Cole might be a fan of Shelvey but he cannot see what a lot of fans have seen in the midfielder.