Luke Shaw has reignited his season with his performance in an unfamiliar role as a left-sided centre back.
Now he’s got his sights set on a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020, as per Sky Sports.
But what are his chances of making it into the 23-man squad? Perhaps the pieces are falling into place at just the right time…
What did Shaw say?
Sky Sports quoted him saying about the summer showpiece: “I’d be lying if I (said I) hadn’t thought about it, but, you know, I’ve got to keep working hard, keep my head down and whatever happens happens.
“But, of course, it’s everyone’s dream to be involved in the Euros. I’m just going to keep my head down, keep working.
“At the end the day it’s not down to me, it’s of course down to Gareth and I’ll respect whatever he decides.”
Shaw’s last England appearance came in the Nations League clash with Spain back in 2018, but he has been out of the picture since.
What are his chances?
Shaw started England’s first game after the 2018 World Cup, where Ashley Young was first choice, but got injured and has not been in the side since.
In the meantime, Ben Chilwell has established himself as Southgate’s first pick, but the race to be the Leicester man’s backup is on.
Southgate has been fiercely loyal to Danny Rose in the past and the fact he has made a move to Newcastle to get regular football may just be enough to retain his spot in the squad.
But Rose’s form has been poor this season and Shaw is playing the better football at the minute.
There’s a lack of experienced alternatives for Southgate, with Brandon Williams and Bukayo Saka, who is playing out of position at left back with Arsenal are perhaps Shaw’s only other competition.
The challenge for Shaw is to stay fit, keep his form up and prove he can offer attacking thrust in a back four when required, because Southgate asks a lot from his full backs in a 4-3-3.
Versatility on his side
The ability to play in multiple positions is generally something international managers consider when selecting their tournament squads.
Southgate shifted Kyle Walker to the right of a back three for the 2018 World Cup; a tactical switch not many saw coming but worked a treat.
The Three Lions boss has since ditched that system, but having Shaw around this summer would be handy if he did want to go back to it at any stage.
Shaw tucking in as that left-sided centre half in a three could have the same impact as Walker and offer Southgate an option which could give him the edge when it comes to the final reckoning.
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