ENGLAND defender Leighton Baines believes Saints starlet Luke Shaw could be England’s first choice left-back for the “next 12-15 years”.
Everton star Baines has been one of the best full-backs in Europe, but he has had to play second fiddle to Chelsea star Ashley Cole in the England set-up in recent years.
Baines finally emerged from Cole’s shadow 10 days ago though, when the 107-cap defender called time on his international career, with Baines going to Brazil as Hodgson’s first-choice left-back.
However, the emergence of Southampton teenager Luke Shaw, who will be Baines’ understudy in South America, means the former Wigan man cannot afford to believe he is the main man now.
“I cannot allow myself to believe,” Baines said.
“You have to keep on your toes and not get complacent because if you don’t do the right things then you are not going to be playing.
“Things can change very quickly so I think whoever starts the first game in the tournament has to do the job otherwise they are not going to stay in the team.”
And Baines believes 18-year-old Shaw, who is the subject of a £27million bid from Manchester United, can eclipse the 13-year international career Cole enjoyed with the Three Lions.
“Luke has been amazing,” Baines said. “Luke and some of the other younger lads have been great for English football.
“Luke is one of the ones who is now at the forefront of the squad. How old is he now? 18?
“He has an amazing future in front of him. He is going to be an England international for the next 12-15 years.”