Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We sell Mr. Shelv to the Top Four

Signed. Sealed. Delivered. Jonjo Shelvey has swapped the Reds of SE7 for the Reds of whatever postcode Anfield comes under and will become an official Liverpool player on May 10.

There may be many Addicks crying into their Bovril over the news that such a promising talent has vacated The Valley, especially considering the £1.7million that Athletic will receive up front is strikingly less than some of the figures that were banded about during the summer. But I still think the deal could work out well for all parties.

Parky remarked earlier this season that Jonjo was every bit as good - if not better - than Fabian Delph, who left Leeds for Aston Villa in a rumoured £7-8m deal last August. But to think we were going to receive such a princely sum for our teenage marvel was preposterous.

Delph had been a regular with the Elland Road side, turning in assured performances and being nominated for the League One Player of the Year. Shelvey has not even come close to that.

He has shown flashes of guile during this campaign, a cracking volley at Leyton Orient and some handsome little cameos from the subs' bench spring to mind, but as the year has progressed, JJ's involvement has been less frequent and it's become apparent that he is not yet ready for a permanent place in our first team. £1.7m with a host of add-ons seems about right to me.

Not only have Charlton accrued a satisfactory amount of Scouse wonger, with promises of more to come, they also hope to establish a "strategic partnership" with the Anfield giants courtesy of Shelvey's switch.

While to me that sounds like: "We pinch your best players whenever we choose and to appease you we'll lob a bevy of our promising youngsters your way on loan," I may just be being cynical - a horrible trait for one so young - and it could prove to be a fruitful alliance. Liverpool, despite their troubled season and boardroom difficulties, are still a top-draw club and if they can assist us in any way, we would be foolish not to take them up on the offer.

As for Shelvey, he should thrive on Merseyside. I think Kenny Dalglish is back involved with Liverpool's youngsters and as a man who played in JJ's position, the Scot could have a huge impact on his career growth, while Steven Gerrard could also teach the Romford-born playmaker a thing or two - I'm thinking striking a football and pinpoint passes rather than how to act in a bar. (Though of course, as Stevie G was found innocent on all charges in that case, he has nothing bad to share with Jonjo).

To conclude, Charlton have a sprinkle of spondulix for a squad player, a likelihood of more coinage in the future and a possible faction with a high-brow club, Jonjo will get the prestige of joining a footballing giant and the chance to play for some terrific fans, while Liverpool pick up a young, hairless geezer with a very bright future. A simple explanation that needed nowhere near as many words as I devoted it. Oh yeah, and sorry about the title of this post, it is awful and not even factually correct.