You really do have to say Southampton have got one of the best Academy’s in the country. The Saints have seen youth products such as Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gareth Bale come through their ranks before heading off to fulfil their dreams in the Champions League.
More recently Adam Lallana, James Ward-Prowse and Calum Chambers have broken through and forced their way into the first-team as Southampton have recovered from the lows of League 1 to a Premier League side which look like they have been here for years.
It’s great credit to the Saints academy staff who nurture these young stars through their youth career before embarking on senior football.
The latest edition of young talent has slowly been emerging on the South Coast over the last two seasons and he is now ready to make his mark on the International scene with just 100 days to go until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Luke Shaw’s timely rise to stardom comes as we look forward to a carnival of football in Brazil and the left-back will be hoping he is lucky enough to be on that plane with the England squad in the summer.
Shaw’s inclusion in England’s International friendly against Denmark on Wednesday at Wembley is a pure reflection of the wonderful season he is having which sees him join fellow Saints team-mates Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert in the squad.
After becoming the youngest Saint to start a game in the Premier League last season, Shaw has kept his feet firmly on the ground amid speculation of a big money move to Manchester United, Chelsea or Tottenham.
The 18-year-old has been a permanent fixture this campaign for Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton side showing that he has got the ability to mix it with the senior professionals in the game.
From Kingston upon Thames originally, the talented attack-minded defender now faces stern competition in the Three Lions left-back position.
If as predicted Roy Hodgson does take two left-backs there are healthy options with the experience of Chelsea’s Ashley Cole and Everton’s Leighton Baines as well as the rising stars in Shaw and Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs.
It will all come down to how these players perform over the remaining games of this Premier League season. If Ashley Cole cannot break back into Jose Mourinho’s plans then you have to wonder whether Hodgson will take someone who isn’t playing on a consistent basis at club-level.
You know what you are going to get with Baines. The 29-year-old - like Shaw - is very attacking and also has the ability to put a free-kick in the top corner.
Gibbs along with Shaw is very much inexperienced at international level although he has played three times at senior level.
It will be a tough decision but luckily for us, it will be Hodgson who has to make it and not us.
The climax to this campaign looks very exciting though and Shaw has certainly put himself in the frame for a position in the World Cup squad.
He may already have 50 appearances for Southampton so far in the top tier of English football however he faces a completely new challenge if he is to feature in England’s friendly against the Danes at Wembley and then the possibility of playing in a major tournament in South America in three-month’s time.
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