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Danny Higginbotham: Luke Shaw should be starting for England

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United defender Danny Higginbotham believes Luke Shaw deserves to start for England after being recalled by Gareth Southgate.

Shaw was voted as the club’s ‘Player of the Month’ following a sensational start to the season at Old Trafford.

He was duly recalled by Gareth Southgate – impressed with the level of intensity he was displaying in the early stages of the season – at the expense of Ashley Young, who has only made one start since the World Cup.

And Higginbotham believes Shaw, very much Man United’s man of the moment, should go straight into the starting XI against Switzerland and Spain.

“I’d probably look at him at the moment on the left-hand side,” he said.

“Before he got his horrific injury [against PSV Eindhoven in 2015], he was probably Manchester United’s best player at the time under [Louis] Van Gaal.

“He had a great relationship with Memphis Depay, and when he got that awful injury, it was the beginning of the end for him too because Shaw was bringing out the best in him.”

Southgate will hope Shaw can serve as a direct replacement for Young. The latter performed diligently and reliably at the World Cup, holding firm defensively and helping to maintain a good shape going forward.

But he was a far cry from the raw energy and precision commanded by Kieran Trippier on the other side. The sheer speed, that desire to get forward and make inroads, was what really caught the eye.

And Shaw, with time, will be expected to provide the exact same on the left: a task he is more than good enough to satisfy.

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