He's a beast.

We’re delighted to announce that Jonjo Shelvey has turned into Roberto Carlos

Jonjo Shelvey has endured a weird and wonderful career, from being a Premier League up-and-comer, to a household name, to a YouTube highlights merchant – but his latest gimmick change might be the best yet.

He’s long been a polarising figure, has Shelvey. Quickly garnering a hardman reputation after emerging at Charlton, it didn’t quite work at Liverpool, but the English midfielder made a home for himself in the Premier League with Swansea and later Newcastle.

For every moment of brilliance, however, there was a moment of utter madness just around the corner. The kind of moment of madness that your dad loves, but often one which would land him in hot water.

Lover of a crunching tackle and dissent, Shelvey spent the bulk of his Premier League career as the heel, the pantomime villain, the one we love to hate.

An enigma, you could throw the captain’s armband on his bicep and get anything from an inspired, leader’s showing, a wonder goal, a horror tackle or all of the above. At the time it was infuriating – even more so if he was doing it for the team you support – but when you take a step back, you learn to love it.

A sh*thouse of the highest order, Shelvey walked so the likes of Neal Maupay and others could run. The most infuriating yet simultaneously hilarious thing of all, though, is that he’s actually bloody good at football.

Like, really good. When he can be arsed.

We long for the days of street footballers dominating our game once again and the resurgence of a no-nonsense, samba style when possible. Shelvey – when in the mood – embodies no-nonsense in the best way.

When not trying to remove an opponent’s limbs, dropping a stinker performance or creating disciplinary issues by spending his weekends showing potential love interests his YouTube highlights in swanky penthouses – no, really – he was always capable of something quite special.

After his stint at Nottingham Forest quickly fell apart in 2023 (he mustn’t have shown them the YouTube compilation) Shelvey pulled off the babyface turn of the century when he packed his bags and headed to Turkey to embark on a Super Lig career for the ages with Rizespor.

We’ve long been advocates of the Turkish Super Lig here at Planet Football, and Shelvey’s transformation into a worldie-scoring freak over there proves our point further.

Fuelled by Efes – the finest beer of all – and counterfeit designer goods galore, the 32-year-old has stuck a middle finger up to all those who criticised him for years in England and – in the greatest twist of fate of all – has simply decided to turn into Roberto Carlos from set-pieces.

There aren’t enough Alan Partridge commentary lines or Ray Hudson superlatives in the world to describe how that made us feel.

Not even Gary Neville’s strangest noises could do it justice. Shelvey is a beast and we are alive.

Plying his trade for Caykur Rizespor – formerly home to fellow Premier League hero Yannick Bolasie – Shelvey’s side had a free-kick on the very edge of the box.

While it looks to be a dangerous position from a glance, age-old football cliches will tell you that a ball on the very edge of the 18-yard box is ‘too close’ to the goal, with getting it over the wall and back down in time nigh-on impossible.

Not for Jonjo, though. No chance. Who needs cliches when you’ve got a wand of a right foot, a wardrobe full of fake Tommy Hilfiger towels, sh*t-tonnes of vitamin D and a skinhead so pure even Carlos himself would be envious?

Stepping up for the set piece, Shelvey decimates every cliche in the book with an almighty thwack good enough to have you eating out of a straw for a month if you dared put your head in front of it.

We’ve come a long, long way from Premier League exile. Seriously, who needs the English top-flight when you can live in the sun and smash dead balls like Roberto Carlos for a living?

This is Shelvey’s world – we’re all just living in it.

By Mitch Wilks

READ NEXT: We can’t get over the 10 most valuable players in the Turkish Super League

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 25 worst teams in Premier League history?