It’s official! Liverpool have confirmed that Charlton’s 18-year-old starlet Jonjo Shelvey has passed a medical and agreed personal terms during a whirlwind visit to the club’s Melwood training complex this morning, and will sign on May 10th for an initial fee of £1.7 million.
A clause in the highly-rated midfielder’s contract will see the transfer fee rise to £3 million, subject to appearances and performance-related targets at domestic and international level.
I can’t help but feel Rafa’s gone and got himself a bit of a bargain here. Shelvey is Charlton’s youngest ever debutant (he made his first team bow at the tender age of 16 in 2008) and is steadily improving year-on-year.
Operating mainly as an attacking midfielder – but also able to fill in as an out-and-out striker – Shelvey will offer Benitez the same guile, energy and commitment that a European ‘ready-made’ (think Arda Turan or Georginio Wijnaldum) would offer, but for a fraction of the price.
It remains to be seen whether or not Shelvey is ready to make the step up to the Premier League (I personally think he is far more suitably equipped for the rigours of the top flight than Fabian Delph was when he made the similar leap from Leeds to Aston Villa last year) but all-in-all I can’t help but think this represents some very shrewd business on Liverpool’s behalf.