Teenager Luke Shaw makes impressive World Cup bow
The left back is being pursued by Manchester United but refused to be drawn on his future
Luke Shaw is being pursued by Manchester United. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Luke Shaw became the youngest player to feature at this World Cup by starting England’s draw with Costa Rica — an experience he described as “unbelievable”, albeit one tinged with the disappointment of their early exit.
The 18-year-old left-back is one of the hottest prospects in world football, with Manchester United pushing to take him from Southampton this summer.
That deal could reportedly see Shaw become the most expensive teenager of all-time — a lofty price tag which comes thanks to his fine performances for club and now country.
The fullback made his first competitive appearance for England yesterday and impressed in the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica, in the process becoming the second youngest player to represent England at a World Cup after Michael Owen.
“It was unbelievable to play in a World Cup game — the biggest stage in football,” Shaw, who turns 19 on July 12th, said. “It is something I will learn from but, on the other side, I am devastated we didn’t get the win.
“We created a lot of chances — that is something that happened in the other two games we played. We created a lot of chances but we have just been a bit unfortunate not to put them away.
“Whether you play or not, you gain massive experience. In training, you are training with world-class players day in, day out. And it is something that you will learn from. Even sitting on the bench, you see what it is like, you see how everything is and you take in the atmosphere.”
Shaw has taken to the pressures of international football impressively, with his performance against Costa Rica one which belied his tender years.
“I’ve had that a lot but I just focus on my main game and what I do for my club,” the Saints left back said when his on-field maturity was brought up.
“I spoke to Frank Lampard before the game and he just said ‘do what you do for your club’. I took that on board and tried to play my normal game. I was happy [with my performance] but it is not just about me — it is about the team and unfortunately we didn’t get the result I wanted.
“To be going home this early is devastating. I just want to thank all the fans out there. They were unbelievable.”
Shaw will no doubt get many more chances to play in front of those England fans, but which club supporters will be cheering him on yet remains to be seen.
The teenager was asked about his ambitions after the match but did not mention his club future, simply saying: “[My ambitions are] just to keep pushing myself, go back fit and ready in pre-season and keep trying to improve my game and look forward to the friendly in September.”