Gareth Southgate rates Luke Shaw’s chance of being fit for Euro 2024

England could head into Euro 2024 without a recognised left-back in the squad after manager Gareth Southgate admitted Luke Shaw may not be fit enough to go to the tournament.

The Manchester United defender was the only genuine left-back named in the 33-player preliminary squad chosen by Southgate for this summer. But he hasn’t played for his club side since February 18 because of a long-term hamstring injury.

United boss Erik ten Hag recently revealed Shaw has suffered a setback which could impact his involvement for England this summer.

Speaking immediately after the squad was announced, Southgate conceded: “He’s up against it. He’s missed a lot of football. The fact that he has been our first choice in that position, we’ve probably given him a lot longer than we would have done.

“I’ve talked with him and the medical team, we’ve been liaising with Manchester United, I’m not sure what’s realistic at this time. I have to say, he’s a long shot.”

Shaw scored England’s early goal in the Euro 2020 final against Italy three years ago, as the Three Lions were eventually pegged back and lost a devastating penalty shootout.

Luke ShawLuke Shaw

Shaw last played for England 11 months ago / Robin Jones/GettyImages

The 28-year-old has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, but there was hope that after making 47 appearances for Manchester United in both 2020/21 and 2022/23 he might have put the worst of that behind him. But this season has yielded just 15 in all competitions.

Kieran Trippier, who has played at left-back for England before but is a right-back by trade, is most likely to get the nod if Shaw loses his fitness battle against the clock. Joe Gomez, naturally a centre-back, has spent a lot of this season playing on the left for Liverpool as injury cover.

Southgate did have other options at left-back that were overlooked. Ben Chilwell made it onto Chelsea’s bench for their penultimate game of the campaign after overcoming his own injury problems. Levi Colwill, although typically a centre-back like Gomez, is adept on the left and played there regularly for Chelsea this season. He regained fitness following injury in early May.

The England boss also declined to turn to Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell, who has impressed this season for an Eagles outfit that saw both Ebere Eze and Adam Wharton called up for the Three Lions this summer.

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