Saints left-back Luke Shaw has been guaranteed international football this summer – even if it isn’t at the World Cup.

The 18-year-old is competing with Ashley Cole for a place in England manager Roy Hodgson’s squad for Brazil.

However, if he loses out to his Chelsea counterpart, Shaw will be selected for the under-20 side, which is due to compete in the Toulon Tournament, in France.

Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate will take charge of that group, and he confirmed that both Shaw and Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling would be in his squad if they are not taken to the World Cup.

“Yes, absolutely,” he said. “They have both been a big part of what we have done so far.”

While Southgate may yet get to use Shaw this summer, he has revealed that he is already planning for life without him.

“I felt with Luke that, if we didn't lose him for the summer, we probably would for the end of the (European Championship qualifying) campaign, because we know that Ashley won't keep going forever.

“So I've already been thinking about succession planning.”

Southgate also revealed that Hodgson is considering taking some young players, who are not included in his 23-man squad, to the World Cup for the experience.

“That is something he is thinking about – maybe taking a couple of younger players to give them experience of just being around it,” said Southgate.

“It hasn't been finalised but I am guessing it might be a couple of the players who are not young enough to play in Toulon. They might be in the frame for that.

“It is something we have just touched upon really. But I think it shows the joined-up thinking with the England teams in trying to give our young players the right experience.”