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Jonjo Reflects on Decision to Leave Liverpool Despite Pleas from Rodgers and Gerrard

The choice to move to Swansea City was Jonjo Shelvey's, but ahead of what's sure to be another eventful reunion tomorrow night, the midfield revealed that his manager and captain both made efforts to keep him at Liverpool.

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Jonjo Shelvey's reunions with Liverpool have not been without incident. In his first meeting last season he scored within minutes and then set up Daniel Sturridge and Victor Moses at the other end, only to redeem himself with an assist for Michu to level the match at 2-2. He followed that up with a stunning goal at Anfield in the 4-3 Liverpool win, and in the same fixture this season he once again netted in front of the Kop, only this time against his own side with a skimmed header that beat Lukasz Fabianski and rounded off Liverpool's scoring in a 4-1 win for the hosts.

So it's fair to expect something spectacular and/or catastrophic ahead of tomorrow's important Premier League matchup at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Shelvey has blown hot and cold during his time in Wales, showing the same glimpses of promise and moments of madness that ultimately led to his departure from Merseyside. On the eve of what's sure to be another emotional meeting for the 23-year-old, he reflected on his choice to leave and the efforts made by Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard to keep him on Merseyside:

"I was on the way to Swansea and he told me I didn't have to go. He spent hours on the phone to my dad in an effort to try and get me to stay. But I had made up my mind to come. I will always be grateful to Brendan because he was honest and said he couldn't offer me the game-time I wanted and needed. He had a great relationship with Swansea and he told me they would be a perfect fit for me if I did want to leave.

"I was living next door to Stevie at the time and I texted him to say I was going down to Swansea. He asked me to really consider it. It is a big thing for someone like me to get someone like him saying that to me. But I wanted to play football and I wanted to know that if you had one bad game after three or four good games you are not going to come out of the team."

The talent was never in question, as he was among the more talented young squad members in terms of technique in the squad. Neither was the manager's feelings toward him; those who watched Being: Liverpool can attest to how much Rodgers valued Shelvey's promise, with the boss taking the midfielder aside to tell him that he was the midfielder for Liverpool's future, and likely the one he saw following in Steven Gerrard's footsteps.

It never really came off for more than a match at a time, though, and with Jordan Henderson forcing his way into the starting eleven by the end of the 2012-2013 season, it was clear that Shelvey was going to find his minutes further limited unless he headed elsewhere. Nice to see that Rodgers and Gerrard let him know how much he was valued, but in the end, it seems to have been the right choice for a player who has plenty of room for growth.

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