‘Should I have stayed? Probably’ – Shelvey says leaving Liverpool was a mistake

The Magpies’ vice-captain says he was being too hasty when he joined Swansea City in search of more playing time

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has admitted that it was a mistake to leave Liverpool when he moved away from Merseyside in 2013.

Shelvey joined Liverpool in 2010 from Charlton but grew frustrated with a lack of minutes at Anfield, having also taken in a loan spell at Blackpool in 2011-12.

Despite only signing a new contract with the Reds in 2012, Shelvey left the club the following year, joining Swansea City in search of regular playing time. 

Though Shelvey did find more minutes in Wales, in hindsight he says that he would have been better off waiting a year or two to see if the situation changed at Liverpool.

“I was only 21 when I left,” Shelvey told Sky Sports. “I don’t think you would find many other players who go there at 17 and leave at 21 and I think that speaks a lot of what I’m like as a character.

“I wasn’t happy playing one or two games then coming out of the team. I wanted to carry on playing week in, week out.

“When you’re playing once and then not playing for six games, I don’t care what any footballer says, you don’t feel involved. You don’t feel part of the team.

“I think that was the feeling I wanted but, in hindsight, should I have stayed? Probably, yeah. Even if it was only for another year or two, just to see how things changed. But it is what it is at the end of the day.”

Shelvey would stay at Swansea until 2016, when he moved on to Newcastle. Now 28, Shelvey has grown into a key player with the Magpies and is happy with his current situation, but he admits that he can’t help wondering what might have been.

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“It could have been a lot better, to be honest with you,” Shelvey said of his career thus far. 

“Don’t get me wrong, by the time I finish I will have had a fantastic career. But you do sit there sometimes and think, ‘could I have gone higher? Could I have been playing in the Champions League?’ Hopefully one day I still will, but time’s running out now.

“You go back in the past and you’ve probably made certain decisions that were wrong.”

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