Hodgson turns to Shelvey

08 October 2012 04:47

Roy Hodgson has handed Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey his first England call-up.

The 20-year-old has been drafted into the Three Lions squad for the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Poland.

Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand has also been added to the squad as Kieran Gibbs has been forced to pull out with a thigh injury.

Bertrand's inclusion for Gibbs was an obvious one given the Chelsea defender had been involved in England's last qualifying match, the draw with Ukraine at Wembley last month.

Shelvey's presence at St George's Park is slightly more complicated.

The 20-year-old Londoner has impressed in Liverpool's sluggish early season displays and was initially called up for the European Under-21 Championship play-off with Serbia by Stuart Pearce.

However, Shelvey is suspended for the first leg of that game at Norwich, and Hodgson has taken the opportunity to bring him into the senior fold.

With Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, James Milner and Tom Cleverley all capable of playing in central midfield, Hodgson does have options, even though skipper Steven Gerrard is himself suspended for Friday's game with San Marino.

It has therefore been suggested Shelvey's presence at St George's Park is purely to further his experience.

There is also a chance he could go back to the Under-21s for the second leg of the Serbia game next Tuesday, although a decision on that will not be taken until the weekend.

Source: PA