The shortlist for England Player of the Year award has been released.
The disruption to international football because of the pandemic means the award will cover a longer period, stretching back to March 2020.
The shortlist include players who played in 50 per cent or more of those fixtures – which brings us on to Luke Shaw.
Why Luke Shaw is not nominated
Shaw only returned to the international picture in March 2021, which means he hasn’t played enough games to qualify.
That’s despite him being the first England player to score a goal in a major final since 1966.
When England fans are deciding their winner, this summer’s Euro 2020 will be uppermost in their mind.
At that tournament, Shaw was one of England’s best players, despite having to play through the pain of broken ribs.
Who has been nominated for England Player of the Year?
There are 14 players on the shortlist, including the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tyrone Mings.
With all due respect, neither of those players have a realistic chance of winning the award.
Calvert-Lewin didn’t start a single game at the Euros, while Shaw was one of the standout performers.
The inflexibility of the rules has counted against Shaw and it’s a bad decision. There’s no good reason he shouldn’t be in the running.
Boost to other United players
United do have two representatives on the shortlist; Harry Maguire and summer signing Jadon Sancho.
Shaw’s absence from contention may give their hopes of winning a boost. It means the votes from United fans won’t be so split.
And one of the top contenders for the crown isn’t even eligible.
Maguire enjoyed another outstanding tournament summer, recovering from his injury to help England reach the final with an outstanding defensive record of just two goals conceded in seven games.
There were so many strong performances at the Euros that Jack Grealish,
Harry Kane, Jordan Pickford, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, Raheem Sterling,
John Stones and Kyle Walker could all be in contention.
But Shaw was as good as any of them this summer and a needless rule has counted against him.
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