Former Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has described Jonjo Shelvey as a “genius” and the “best player I’ve ever seen play in the Championship”.
Shelvey was one of three Newcastle United players - along with Magpies captain Jamaal Lascelles and the Championship’s top-scorer Dwight Gayle - to be named by Holloway in his Sky Sports Championship team of the season so far.
“Shelvey is the first name on the teamsheet,” Holloway writes in his Sky Sports column.
“He’s a genius - the best I’ve ever seen play in the Championship.
“He can get it off the centre-halves, dictate play and go beyond into the final third.
“When he gets into shooting positions he also has the quality to either score or find one of his mates.
“Shelvey is a Rolls-Royce of a footballer.”
Holloway paid £4.5million to take Gayle from Peterborough United to Palace in July 2013 - the highest fee he ever paid for a player during his managerial career.
And Holloway tipped the 26-year-old to be the Championship’s top scorer before the season even started.
“He’s doing me proud,” Holloway adds.
“I tipped him to be the league’s top scorer and he hasn’t let me down, firing in 11 already.
“He was the most expensive player I ever purchased as a manager when I took him to Crystal Palace and I’m not surprised to see him banging them in.
“He’s pure quality.”
Ian Holloway’s Championship XI for the season so far:
Ali Al-Habsi (Reading); Bruno (Brighton and Hove Albion), Pontus Jansson (Leeds United), Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United) , Scott Malone (Fulham); Elias Kachuna (Huddersfield), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) ; Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion); Tammy Abraham (Bristol City), Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United)