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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Shelvey arrival creates conundrum

Swansea FanZoner Sion Cleaver has welcomed the arrival of Jonjo Shelvey but is unsure of where the midfielder fits into the Swans side.

Last Updated: 17/07/13 at 10:42 Post Comment

Jonjo Shelvey: Swansea new boy

Jonjo Shelvey: Swansea new boy

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The signing of Liverpool midfielder Shelvey for a reported £5million transfer fee turned quite a few neutral heads back on July 3, but the feeling between Swans fans was of a much more mixed nature.

Swansea have garnered quite a reputation over the seasons for being a side capable of bringing in relatively unknown players and turning them into household names, but this is a risky tactic, especially when the stakes are now set so high with Europa League competition on the horizon and a League Cup title to defend.

So Michael Laudrup has decided - and rightly so - to add a bit of consistency into a Swansea side that come across a bit overly dependant on certain players at times. Consistency comes with experience, so an already established name is ideal for the role.

Enter England international Jonjo Shelvey...

He may be experienced at a high level, be it international or domestically, he may be relatively young and sharp on his feet too, but it must be argued that the 21-year-old is a right fit for a Swans side that are known for their slick-passing, Barcelona-esque style of play.

With names like Pablo Hernandez, Michu and Chico Flores in Laudrup's first choice squad, saying Shelvey's way around the ball is out of place is stating the obvious. A top player he may be, but he tends to favour taking the ball on and pushing play up field at a steady pace rather than distribute possession in a pacey, slick fashion.

That said, he may not fit the bill for regular first-team football the Liberty Stadium, he could still prove to be a decent investment for the south Wales club.

At 21, Shelvey has yet to hit his peak, and will undoubtedly do so in the next few seasons, so a decent showing from the Englishman while out on loan or perhaps on the international stage could see the former Liverpool man garner a lot of attention from other clubs. So considering he's now latched to a four-year deal with Swansea, if Laudrup discovers he can't get much play out of him at a first team level, he could well see the club make a profit on him in the long run.

On the other hand, Laudrup could be planning a sneaky change in the way Swansea play their football, and the addition of Shelvey to the mix could just be an enforcement of such a new strategy.

Swansea are well known for the way they pass upfield at a quick pace, utilizing the wings at every possible opportunity, so a change in their style could prove quite successful in the way that most clubs will be expecting a certain style of play come August - but they could be faced with something entirely different, and Shelvey would prove perfect for such a change.

By Sion Cleaver, FanZone's Swansea City blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @SionCleaver - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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