Shaw back with England squad after shining for Manchester United
LONDON — Back in favour with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, Luke Shaw earned a recall to the England soccer squad for the first time in 18 months on Thursday.
The left back has been one of the few players to impress for United in its underwhelming start to the Premier League and was rewarded with a place in a squad containing 18 of the 23 players who helped England reach the World Cup semifinals.
“He’s had an extra edge to his game,” England coach Gareth Southgate said of Shaw. “He’s showing aggression and desire not to lose, and looking back to his powerful best going past people.
“It looks like he’s playing with confidence.”
Confidence is one thing the injury-prone Shaw has been lacking for the last two seasons, with Mourinho sometimes publicly rebuking the left back for his performances.
But Shaw appears to be benefiting from a more conciliatory approach from Mourinho in recent months, putting in the kind of energetic displays United was expecting when it made Shaw the world’s most expensive teenage player by signing him for US$46 million in 2014.
Liverpool players Joe Gomez and Adam Lallana, Burnley defender James Tarkowski and Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy were the other players picked who did not travel to the World Cup.
Southgate said he mostly opted for continuity because “those who were with us in the summer deserve the right to go again.”
However, midfielders Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek haven’t played for Manchester City or Chelsea, respectively, this season, while goalkeeper Jack Butland is now playing in the second-tier League Championship with Stoke.
Ashley Young, Gary Cahill and Jamie Vardy, who were all in the World Cup squad, told Southgate they did not want to be considered for selection.
England hosts Spain in the UEFA Nations League on Sept. 8, and Switzerland in a friendly three days later.
Manchester United’s Luke Shaw, pictured, “looks like he’s playing with confidence,” says England coach Gareth Southgate.