Shelvey signs new long-term Liverpool deal

The 20-year-old says that he is "buzzing" to be staying at the club, with his renewal the first piece of business concluded by new Anfield manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is hoping for further first-team exposure in 2012-13 after penning a new long-term contract.

The 20-year-old spent part of last term on loan at Championship side Blackpool before returning to Anfield and making 21 appearances in all competitions under former boss Kenny Dalglish.

Shelvey is delighted to have committed his future to the club and believes that his style of play could thrive under new manager Brendan Rodgers' tactical approach.

“I am really happy,” he told the club’s official website. “Last season I was itching to try and push for a new contract. Now it's happened and I am ready to kick on again now.

“It's lovely to know I am in the plans for the future. At the moment, it's just about getting things right each day and proving myself to the gaffer here. The gaffer and his way of playing will suit me down to the ground and hopefully I can be in his plans.

The former Charlton Athletic youngster believes his spell at Bloomfield Road helped him grow as player, adding:  “I think going away [on loan] to Blackpool helped me a lot. It gave me some experience, I scored some goals and I came back a better player.

“Kenny gave me a chance towards the latter stages of the season and I thought I showed what I can do.

“Tactically I have become a lot better and technically too. When you're working with people like Steven Gerrard and people like that, you're learning things day in, day out and it's an honour.

Despite being afforded an increased opportunity to shine, Shelvey is aware there are areas where he needs to improve, and is hoping further match action will aid his development.

“There are still things in my game I want to work on and I'm going to keep doing that,” he added.

“On the physical side of my game, I'm going to be in the gym every day - and I've got to speak to the gaffer to see what else I can work on.

“I want to get into the first team and be in the starting XI on a permanent basis. That's going to be hard, but it's something I've got to work towards.

Finally, the England Under-21 star hailed the impact Rodgers has had during his brief spell at the club.

The former Swansea manager filled the position vacated by the sacked Kenny Dalglish on June 1.

Shelvey added: I think he's great. With all the passing drills he's doing, he's encouraging us to play all the time which is nice for a football player.

“Instead of doing a lot of long-distance running and things like that in pre-season, everything has been with a ball, which is more enjoyable. Everyone is enjoying training and looking forward to coming in.”

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