Southampton full back a Shaw bet for World Cup squad
England boss Roy Hodgson has given a strong indication that Southampton youngster Luke Shaw is set to be given a call-up for the March 5th friendly against Denmark.
Reports suggest that the 106-capped Ashley Cole could make way, possibly signalling the end to the Chelsea player’s international career and thus missing out on the 23-man squad to go to the World Cup in Brazil.
Cole is still odds-on at 1/20 to make Hodgson’s summer squad, however.
Shaw, who is still just 18-years-old, has played all but three Premier League games for the Saints this term at left back. Back him now at 11/2 to make the World Cup squad.
In recent months he has been linked with the likes of Chelsea (the club he supports) and Manchester United, and is still being hotly tipped to replace either Cole or Patrice Evra respectively come the end of the season.
Speaking at a press conference on February 12th, Hodgson has given his strongest hint yet that Shaw is to get a first senior call-up to the national side, and ultimately earn a debut cap just three months before the World Cup.
Hodgson said: “Shaw is the obvious one (to bring in) because he has been playing last season and has been in the team non-stop since the start of this season.”
When asked about Cole’s hopes, the former Liverpool manager added: “Ashley will have to accept, like everyone else, that competition for his place in the club team and international team gets stronger all the time. I will have a decision to make.”
If given the call, Shaw will possibly become the fourth Southampton player to be given recent debut caps, after clubmates Rickie Lambert (9/4 to make World Cup squad), Jay Rodriguez (not yet priced) and Adam Lallana (10/11).
Shaw’s stats this season certainly fit the bill. He has won 81 percent of attempted tackles, has a 78 percent pass completion rate and created a total of 18 chances – making one assist.
Leighton Baines is certainly the pundit’s choice to be first choice England left back, and has odds of 11/10 to start England’s opening World Cup game against Italy. Ashley Cole, however, is still the favourite at 4/6, but it seems those odds look extremely hopeful.
Other potential left backs to make the squad include Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs with odds of 5/1, Danny Rose of Spurs (12/1) and Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand (14/1) – who is on-loan at Aston Villa.