Luke Shaw sends message to Gareth Southgate over starting England’s Euro 2024 semi-final

Luke Shaw got his first minutes of the Euros against Switzerland
Luke Shaw got his first minutes of the Euros against Switzerland (Picture: Getty)

Luke Shaw has declared himself ‘fit and ready to start’ England’s Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands.

The Manchester United defender got his first minutes of the Euros in the quarter-final win over Switzerland, coming on as one of three substitutes after England went behind with 15 minutes remaining.

Bukayo Saka’s superb equaliser a few minutes later sent the quarter-final clash into extra-time and Shaw impressed in the following 30 minutes of action, leaving ex-England midfielder and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard in no doubt that he should start the semi-final.

Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier has filled in at left-back throughout England’s Euro 2024 campaign but Shaw has told Gareth Southgate he is fit to start Wednesday’s huge game in Dortmund.

‘The last four months have been really tough,’ Shaw said on Monday afternoon. ‘At the start, I was expected to come back a lot sooner, but I went through a lot of setbacks.

‘It was really nice to get on the other night and get some minutes, I’ve been itching to get on.’

Asked if he was fit enough to start against the Dutch, Shaw added: ‘Of course, I think I am [fit and ready to play 90 minutes], that is down to Gareth’s decision. I feel fit and ready to go.’

Shaw came on as a late substitute against Switzerland
Shaw came on as a late substitute against Switzerland (Picture: Getty)

When Southgate named his final squad for the Euros, he admitted he was taking a ‘gamble’ on Shaw but expected the 28-year-old to be fit to feature in the latter part of the group stage.

Instead, Shaw missed England’s first four games out in Germany and says it was ‘strange’ as well as ‘tough’ to watch on from the sidelines.

‘Before the squad got announced, we had a plan [for his recovery],’ he said. ‘The plan was to come back around the second or third game but, unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and I was pushed back a game or so.

‘Of course, it’s tough. They were really there for me, not just Gareth and Steve but the medical staff as well, I have a lot to thank them for.

England face the Netherlands for a place in the Euro 2024 final
England face the Netherlands for a place in the Euro 2024 final (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s been strange. It’s also been difficult as well, going to games, feeling the atmosphere, not putting the shirt on or being involved in games was hard, but that motivated me more to work back.

‘The atmosphere in those games spurred me on. I was of course excited to come back, but the priority was to help us get back into the game and get us through.’

Shaw also said he ‘never once thought’ England were heading out of the tournament, despite needing some last-minute brilliance from Jude Bellingham to avoid defeat against Slovakia and then going behind to Switzerland.

‘I never once thought that we were going to go out, we have to believe right to the end,’ he said ahead of a potential 33rd England cap.

‘Game by game we are getting better, there’s things we can still improve on but we’re looking good.’

On the criticism Southgate has faced throughout the tournament, Shaw added: ‘I don’t get it.

‘What he’s done for the country and us players, he’s taken us to the next level. No manager has been as successful as he has recently.

‘Us players love him, he’s exactly what we need. He allows us to go out on the pitch and be our best. He’s shown a lot of faith and trust in picking me.’

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final opponents, managed by ex-Everton and Southampton boss Ronald Koeman, beat Turkey and Romania in the knockout stages after finishing third in Group D.

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