Luke Shaw joined in training yesterday with England’s Under-21s and showed no sign of the dead knee which forced him off in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Everton at the weekend.
There were initial fears the 19-year-old’s injury could see him ruled out of action so soon after returning from injury but it looks like he’ll be ready to take part in England’s crucial qualifiers against Croatia having already taken part in training just 48 hours after the game against Everton.
Despite worries about his knee, Louis van Gaal has encouraged England to use Shaw in both games: “I would say so,” Southgate said when asked if Roy Hodgson’s chat with Van Gaal went well.
“I just know from the conversation with Luke that he [Van Gaal] was really positive about him coming and playing first and foremost, playing matches.”
Shaw’s willingness to play for the Under-21s and desire to join them in the Euro 2015 championships should they qualify has been applauded by Southgate as he feels it could help other youngsters such as Raheem Sterling follow that mindset.
He added: “It’s brilliant for him to have the humility to recognise that and be prepared to do it. It’s also great for us.
“Our group of players now can talk to him about the difference between playing for a club like Southampton, which is a great grounding for any young player, and the expectation level and the different quality when you go to a club like Manchester United.
“They have that informal mixing with him all week where he can let them know exactly what Di María and Falcao and Rooney do in training. Jamaal [Lascelles] and Luke [Garbutt] have been with the seniors playing: they thought our training was quick and sharp but there is another level.”
It’s great news that Shaw is immediately ready to return to action but there will still be concerns of an injury flaring up given his track record so far this season.