Jonjo Shelvey says he turned down captain's request to stay at Liverpool before Swansea switch
Jonjo Shelvey has revealed he turned down the pleas of England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard when making the move from Anfield to Swansea City this summer.
The England Under-21s midfielder is now preparing to face his former club at the Liberty Stadium on Monday evening, with Swansea plotting to break Liverpool’s perfect start to the season.
And Shelvey admits he could still have been in Brendan Rodgers’ squad this season had he listened to Gerrard’s advice this summer.
The former Charlton Athletic youngster explained: "I said to him [Gerrard] that I might have to go elsewhere to get football, he told me 'stay here, you'll get your chance.'
"It was great to hear that from him but I felt I needed to come away.
"You probably think I'm mad because that's turning him down to stay there but I felt I had to come away to play. I'm lucky that I've found my feet at a club like Swansea."
Shelvey has quickly become a regular fixture in Michael Laudrup’s side this season, perhaps justifying his decision to make the switch to south Wales.
And after working alongside Gerrard over the last few years at Anfield, he sees the 33-year-old as a perfect role model for how he wants his career to progress at Swansea.
"I've always tried to emulate him as a player,” he admitted.
“He has always been my favourite player but I suppose there comes a time in your life when you can't copy him. You have got to be your own player.
"I'm not going out there every game and saying 'I've got be like Steven Gerrard.’
"I play the way I play and if that's the way he plays then brilliant because I'd be happy to have half the career he's had."