Paul Merson shocked by decision to include Luke Shaw in England team

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has given his verdict on the latest England squad.

Merson supports Southgate’s decision to select Harry Maguire, who has lost his place in United’s defence, but he was shocked by Luke Shaw’s inclusion.

“Not with Harry Maguire I wasn’t [surprised], I think he’s a big part of the England squad, the way they play and with Gareth,” Merson said, as quoted by TeamTalk.

“I was shocked with the Luke Shaw one, if I’m being honest. The amount of full-backs we have in this country and talented full-backs at that. I was shocked with that. But not the Harry Maguire one.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of panic but if Harry Maguire doesn’t get in the United team come November then there’s going to be a major worry for Gareth Southgate.

“In a way, he should’ve brought some players in that he might have to go to because you can’t go three months without playing football then play international football, especially in the heat they’re going to be playing in.”

Three Manchester United players made Gareth Southgate’s 28-man squad but there was no place for Jadon Sancho, despite the winger showing a vast improvement on the pitch this season.

Maguire, Shaw and Dean Henderson (on loan at Nottingham Forest) were called up for September’s Nations League fixtures.

The Three Lions are set to face Italy on Friday and Germany three days later.

SN’s verdict

I was baffled by both Maguire and Shaw getting a call up.

Maguire was rubbish in the two games he started and it doesn’t come as a surprise that we’ve defended better as a unit without him in the team.

The same applies to Shaw because Tyrell Malacia has been superb at left-back.

It goes against Southgate’s usual selection method of picking players based on form. Maybe Sancho has something on him?

More Stories England Gareth Southgate Harry Maguire Jadon Sancho Luke Shaw Manchester United Paul Merson