6:00am Tuesday 5th February 2013
By Adam Leitch
Luke Shaw is today getting over the disappointment of missing out on the chance to become the second youngest player to represent England under-21s, but new Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino has backed the teenage sensation to become a full international.
At just 17 years and 209 days old, Shaw, pictured, would have been beaten only by ex-Saint Theo Walcott in becoming the youngest player to play for England’s under-21s if, as had been expected, he won his first cap at that level against Sweden in Walsall this evening.
However, late last night it was confirmed that Shaw had to withdraw from the squad following training with Stuart Pearce’s men with a ‘suspected injury.’ Many believe Shaw’s form puts him only narrowly behind Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines for the left back role in the senior England squad, and with the way he is going it seems only a matter of time before he gets a full international call.
New Saints boss Pochettino has been impressed with the youngster and believes he can make the grade “Yes, bit by bit he could get there (being an England international),” said Pochettino, who as a player was capped 20 times by Argentina, including at the 2002 World Cup.
“I think he has a great future and at 17 I have to say he is very mature.”
Pochettino opted to leave Shaw on the bench for the game against Manchester United at Old Trafford in favour of Danny Fox but quickly recalled the youngster for the trip to Wigan.
“He’s got a good future ahead of him,” reckoned the Saints manager.
“At only 17 years of age he has to carry on working and develop his play a lot more.”
Walcott was 17 years and 152 days old and at Saints when he made his England under-21 debut.
He also set a bit of history for the England under-21s that day when he became the youngest ever player to score for the side when he netted the opener in England’s 2-2 draw with Moldova.
Shaw’s chances of being capped had been aided by the withdrawal of Norwich left back Ryan Bennett.
Saints won’t have any players on England under-21 duty this evening with Nathaniel Clyne also having had to withdraw from the squad through injury.
Clyne was taken off in the second half of Saints’ 2-2 draw with Wigan at the weekend.
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