Belfast Telegraph

Shelvey to step out of shadows

Jonjo Shelvey hopes that moving out of Steven Gerrard's shadow to join Swansea will be the making of him.

The 21-year-old left Liverpool to join the Swans in a £5million move earlier this summer, ending his three-year stint on Merseyside.

The former Charlton playmaker was seen as being the natural long-term successor to the England captain at the heart of the Reds midfield, but opted to make the switch to the Liberty Stadium in search of a regular first-team spot.

The England international made an eye-catching debut in the Swans' 4-0 Europa League victory over Malmo on Thursday, impressing with his range of passing.

Shelvey admits it was a wrench to leave Anfield and the chance to continue learning from one of the finest midfielders of his generation in Gerrard, but felt the time had come to strike out on his own.

"It is a big, big thing to leave, to come away from one of the biggest clubs in football, but I felt that I needed to come and play," said Shelvey.

"I didn't want to sit behind people. I felt that I wasn't getting a fair crack of the whip at Liverpool but that's football. I can't fault any of the players there because they were first class.

"I felt my days had come to an end, I needed to get away whether it was on loan or permanent, but I needed to leave and try and get some football."

Of comparisons between him and Gerrard, he added: "You can't put me and him in the same sentence because it's just ridiculous how good he is, but people have compared me to him and that is just an honour.

"I have gone from living next door to him to living in a farm out here, but I have enjoyed every minute of being here so far, and my missus is loving it, because the weather has been so nice as well."

Shelvey also revealed that Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers, a former Swansea manager, helped him with his move to south Wales.

"Because Brendan was here it helped me get to know the club a bit more," he said. "When I was coming down he rang me and told me about the club and the people to look out for, and the people who would help me.

"It has helped me working with him already, and obviously he can't speak highly enough of Swansea City Football Club."

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