Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey says he is excited by the prospect of filling Luis Suarez’s shoes against his beloved West Ham.
The Reds’ talismanic forward is suspended for the trip to Upton Park after accumulating his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend, and with the club’s shortage of strikers, Shelvey could be given the main striker’s role.
The 20-year-old, from Romford, spent three years at Upton Park as a youth player and is relishing the chance to play on his old stomping ground.
“I supported West Ham as a boy so to play against them in any position is good for me, but it is not easy to fill the boots of a player like Luis Suarez,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
“I will just give it my best shot. I played against Young Boys in that role and I thought I did alright, I was happy to do a job for the team. It is an honour to play wherever you are told to play for Liverpool.
“It is difficult to adjust to that role because you have your back to the defender all the time whereas in midfield you can see your passes. It is difficult in that respect and you need a different type of fitness to play up front but I’ll be ready for it.”
Shelvey has found it harder to get first-team minutes as Liverpool regain players from injury, but an injury to Nuri Sahin in midweek allowed him to get some game time ahead of this weekend’s clash.
Shelvey added: “I’d just got comfy in my chair when they told me to get ready but I was pleased to get on.
“I wanted to start but the manager pulled me aside before and explained why he was putting me on the bench and I understand that. I’ve just got to get myself ready for Sunday.”