May 10, 2018 / 3:56 AM / 11 days ago

Soccer: Shelvey can impress for England at World Cup, says Benitez

(Reuters) - Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been impressive for the Premier League club this season and manager Rafa Benitez has backed the 26-year-old to continue his good form if he is included in England’s squad for the World Cup.

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Shelvey, who last played for England in 2015, continued his strong domestic form in Newcastle’s 1-0 league loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

The midfielder’s commanding performances have helped Newcastle flourish during Benitez’s reign with the Magpies set for a 10th-placed league finish this season.

“I think so. I think he’s a different kind of midfielder. So I am sure that when you talk about the squad, different players can give you different options in different games,” Benitez told reporters when asked if Shelvey would be a good prospect for England.

“If we have time on the ball for him, he can make the difference, but he needs players around him moving and doing the right things too, and they were doing that.”

Newcastle will be eager to end their four-game losing streak in the league when they host Chelsea in the final match of their campaign on Sunday.

England manager Gareth Southgate has to name his 23-man World Cup squad by June 4, ahead of their opening match in Russia against Tunisia on June 18.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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