Jose Mourinho has selected the England starting XI he would pick to face Germany in the Euro 2020 Round of 16 on Tuesday night, with Luke Shaw given the nod at left-back.
Mourinho and Shaw have been at loggerheads recently, with the bad blood stemming from their time together at Manchester United, in which the Portuguese coach was regularly critical of the defender, even questioning his weight in pre-season.
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However, the 25-year-old Londoner has since rediscovered the form that saw him initially rise to prominence at Southampton, creating 77 chances last season as the Red Devils finished runners-up in the Premier League and reached the Europa League final.
Such form has catapulted Shaw back in the England equation after three years in the wilderness, with the defender starting in two of the nation’s three games at Euro 2020, though in their group-winning fixture against Czech Republic, Mourinho criticised his former left-back’s set-pieces as “dramatically bad”.
In response to Mourinho’s comments, Shaw said he found it ‘strange how he continuously talks about me’, though that has not stopped the Portuguese giving his two cents.
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Ahead of England’s match against Germany at Wembley, Mourinho went in a different direction and explained why he would actually start Shaw in what would be his preferred system of a back-three.
He told talkSPORT: “Left wing-back, playing in this back three system normally has to be a left-footed player. That would not be adapted to [Kieran] Trippier.
“It would have to be Luke Shaw because I believe that [Ben] Chilwell will not be in the best condition.”
‘Kyle Walker can kill the Gosens supremacy’
Robin Gosens has arguably been the standout star for Germany at Euro 2020 this summer, with the buccaneering Atalanta full-back providing a goal, an assist and creating five chances for the nation, including a squad-high two big chances.
Mourinho has rightly identified the left-sided full-back as one of the biggest threats in Joachim Low’s armoury, with the 26-year-old incredibly netting 11 goals for Atalanta the season just gone in Serie A, as well as registering six assists.
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As such, the Roma-bound boss believes Kyle Walker should be the man tasked with thwarting Gosens’ dominance on the left flank, believing the Man City full-back has the capabilities of ‘killing’ any German supremacy on that side.
“There’s a lot of options. With a back three you have two options, one with Kyle Walker and one without,” Mourinho said.
“If you want to go with Kyle Walker as a wing-back, which would be very good as he’s very fast, very powerful and can do up and down all day and can perfectly kill the Gosens supremacy on that side.
“Then the centre-backs would be Stones, Maguire and Mings. But [Reece] James can play right-back no problem, he does it with Chelsea and then it could be Walker with Stones and Maguire in the middle.”