Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell has opened up on his rivalry with Manchester United star Luke Shaw, with the pair battling it out for one spot in Gareth Southgate’s first-choice England side.
Going into last summer’s European Championship, it wasn’t clear who Southgate favoured and with neither of the left-backs playing in the opening game against Croatia, it didn’t look good for the defensive duo.
Following an impressive campaign with Manchester United, Shaw was given the nod ahead of Chilwell for the rest of England’s games, with the Chelsea defender failing to make a single appearance in the tournament.
Chilwell has now addressed his relationship with Shaw, insisting their on-pitch rivalry does not affect their demeanor outside of football.
“Of course I get on with Marcos (Alonso). I’m good friends with Luke (Shaw). When you’ve got someone in the same position as you, it doesn’t have to be ‘ah, your enemies’. You’re fighting for the same shirt but you can be friends,” he is quoted as saying by The Times.
SN’s verdict on their rivalry going forward…
The togetherness and camaraderie inside the England dressing room were on show over the summer and in truth, it looked healthier than it ever has.
There are rivalries all over the pitch and left-back is probably the least competitive department in Southgate’s squad. For example, he called up four right-backs in his final 26-man squad for the tournament.
Shaw deserved his place throughout the tournament but his place in the side is far from guaranteed going forward. The 26-year-old is enduring some of his worst form in recent years and is in real danger of losing his place to Chilwell on the international stage.
Meanwhile, Chilwell has reclaimed a starting berth in Thomas Tuchel’s side at Chelsea and is back in the England squad, having missed out on a call-up in for the first camp in September.