Gareth Southgate says it was not a difficult decision to leave Manchester United’s Player of the Year Luke Shaw out of England’s squad for the UEFA Nations League this summer.
The Three Lions manager named an initial 27-man squad for June’s clash with the Netherlands, as well as either a final or third-placed play-off three days later. Shaw has had a strong campaign for United, winning acclaim from fans and his fellow teammates at the club’s end-of-season awards, but Southgate says he has better options.
Asked if it was a difficult decision to leave Shaw out, Southgate said bluntly: ‘No. I think Ben Chilwell and Danny Rose have been excellent. So at the moment they’re ahead of Shaw, and they’ve played particularly well for us. They’ve been completely committed to the England shirt and really given everything for the England shirt over the last period of time.
They’re two very good players so there’s high competition for places in lots of positions, but that one in particular we’re blessed with really good options.
Tottenham stars Harry Kane and Harry Winks have both been included in the squad despite currently being major doubts for the Champions League final due to injury, but Southgate wants to give both the chance of getting fit in time to play in the Nations League.
On Kane he explained: ‘That is one of the unknowns. He is obviously working towards being fit for them for their final and we’ve got to see how that progresses. Clearly he’s a player we would want to give every opportunity to. His goalscoring record for us is phenomenally high, and captain of the team, so we’re keeping that door open.