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Flashback: Jonjo Shelvey mixed the good and the bad after joining Liverpool at a turbulent time

In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.

Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge received a shot in the arm not just from their win over Brighton last weekend but also thanks to a little help from a former Red.

Jonjo Shelvey’s 88th-minute strike earned a draw for Newcastle against Manchester City, with the reigning champions falling 11 points behind the league leaders.

It was a very different Liverpool that the England midfielder joined in April 2010, having cost £1.7m from Charlton (as per BBC) as an 18-year-old.

Rafael Benitez, the Reds’ manager at the time, said that he had signed the youngster because he wanted to bring in “British players with passion” (as per BBC), having purchased Glen Johnson from Portsmouth and sought to lure Gareth Barry to Anfield.

Liverpool limped to a seventh-place finish that season, with Benitez leaving the club that summer at a time when the threat of administration under Tom Hicks and George Gillett was not inconceivable.

Shelvey would have to wait until September 2010 to make his Liverpool debut and it wasn’t one that he or any of his team-mates would care to remember.

With Roy Hodgson now in the Anfield dugout, the Reds were knocked out of the League Cup on penalties on home soil by League Two Northampton, the midfielder’s successful spot kick unable to prevent the Merseysiders from a humiliating cup exit. [via BBC]

While he made 15 Premier League appearances in his first season at Anfield, all of those were from the bench, with much of his first team action coming in the Europa League.

The youngster was loaned to Blackpool early in the 2011/12 season but was recalled after just two months at Bloomfield Road following an injury to Lucas Leiva (as per Daily Mail)

Shelvey’s first Liverpool goal came in an FA Cup win over Oldham in January 2012, with his other Reds goal being scored with a 30-yard belter in a 4-1 victory over Chelsea towards the end of a miserable Premier League season in which Kenny Dalglish’s side finished eighth.

He only started eight league games in 2011/12 but had still done enough to earn a new contract at Anfield the following summer, with Brendan Rodgers becoming the fourth manager at the club since the time of Shelvey’s transfer less than two and a half years previously.

A mixed week in September 2012 saw him score twice in a Europa League win at Young Boys but then receive a red card in a Premier League defeat at home to Manchester United. In the incident which saw him sent off for a foul on Jonny Evans, he had a heated exchange with Alex Ferguson as he left the pitch, accusing the United boss of being “a grass” (as per The Guardian).

Shelvey was described as a “hard-working, tenacious attacking midfielder” by lfchistory.net, albeit one who “did lack composure and concentration when involved in the heat of battle”.

Two further Europa League goals arrived but he only had 17 Premier League starts in nearly three years at the club by the end of 2012/13 and he left for Swansea in a £5m deal that summer (as per BBC).

His first goal for the Swans came against Liverpool later that year but Shelvey, now 27, did his former club a turn with Newcastle’s late equaliser last Saturday.

Should the Reds end up narrowly seeing off Manchester City to win the title, his contribution at St James’ Park last weekend won’t be forgotten and its significance could well outweigh anything he managed in a largely uneventful three-year spell at Anfield.

Liverpool fans, how did you rate Shelvey’s time at the club? Did his signing in 2010 take you by surprise? Tell us your views in the comments section below!


Flashback: Jonjo Shelvey mixed the good and the bad after joining Liverpool at a turbulent time
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Article title: Flashback: Jonjo Shelvey mixed the good and the bad after joining Liverpool at a turbulent time

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