Rafael Benitez Reckons Newcastle Midfielder Has Potential to Play for England

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Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez believes Magpies midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has the potential to break into the England team, according to The Sunderland Echo.

Shelvey has not been a regular in the team after a needless red card on the opening day, but has impressed of late and his manager has been impressed with his performances as the Magpies picked up points against Liverpool, Southampton and Crystal Palace.

England manager Gareth Southgate watched Shelvey in the Magpies 1-0 win over Palace on Saturday, and Benitez believes Southgate should consider the 25-year-old as an option.

He said: “Jonjo has the ability and the quality to see the pass and the runners. And if you put him with better players, he’ll be even better, because he has the quality." Former Liverpool and Swansea man Shelvey has been capped six times by the national team, though the last of his caps came back in November 2015.

Shelvey played a big part in helping the Toon gain promotion last season, and Rafa Benitez's side have pushed on with an impressive start this season where they sit seventh after nine games.