Former England boss backs £30m Chelsea target over current Blues star

Ex-England manager Graham Taylor says that current incumbent Roy Hodgson should take Luke Shaw to the World Cup - not Ashley Cole.

Southampton left back Shaw, 18, earned his first England cap in last week's friendly against Denmark, and his impressive display has given him a chance of making the trip to Brazil to the World Cup this summer, particularly after a great season with the Saints.

He is now in with a real shot of being on the plane in June, but would be heading to Brazil in place of Chelsea star Cole - the man he has been tipped to replace at the end of the season, with Jose Mourinho's Blues watching Shaw with intent.

Cole has been a mainstay for both England and Chelsea in recent years, but the 33-year-old has been a bit-part player at Stamford Bridge this season, causing him to lose his place in Hodgson's side to Everton's Leighton Baines - and now there are serious question marks over whether he can even be considered second choice.

Former England and Aston Villa boss Taylor suggests that if Cole is simply travelling to Brazil to play as a backup to Baines, then it would be more beneficial to Hodgson to give Shaw experience of being at a major tournament than to simply have Cole sitting on the bench, with his time coming to an end.

"I think Baines will play and Shaw should be taken to earn experience for the future," Taylor said. "Shaw could be seen as a gamble, but if you're taking Cole and he is not first choice, then I think Shaw should be taken instead."

"I'm not discrediting Cole for all that he has achieved with England, but everybody's time comes and in Ashley's case it is gradually coming."

"There will be a lot of time off the pitch and Ashley, with over 100 caps, will want to know why he is not playing. Better to take a boy who you know has great potential."

image: © Jon Candy

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