Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has hailed Luke Shaw’s performance for England under-21s in the team’s Euro 2015 play-off first-leg against their Croatian counterparts on Friday evening.
Shaw, 19, put in a man of the match display as a Harry Kane header and late Saido Berahino spot-kick helped Gareth Southgate’s side complete a second-half comeback to take a narrow 2-1 lead into next week’s second-leg in Vinkovci.
Fitness issues and injuries have seen the left-back make a slow start to life at United following a £30 million summer move from Southampton, contributing to his “demotion” from the senior England squad, but Hargreaves insists that his class shouldn’t be in doubt.
‘I thought he was England’s best attacking outlet, even at left full-back,’ the told BT Sport. ‘He’s such an intelligent player. In that first-half he was tremendous.
‘He’s the youngest player on the team but he might be the best, and I think he proved that tonight. He’s got a great ability and he proved that at Southampton, with the under-21s and with England.
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‘I think he’s England’s future left-back for the next 10 years,’ he added. ‘Obviously there are problems integrating into a new club – with a very high transfer fee there’s been a lot of pressure on him.
‘But I think he’s got a great manager there with him in Louis van Gaal and a great support system with Ryan Giggs to become that top player, who, in my opinion, he already is.’