England manager Roy Hodgson believes Luke Shaw can become another Ashley Cole and earn over 100 international caps after making a strong start to the season.
Shaw’s first season at Old Trafford was curtailed by injury and fitness issues but the left-back is beginning to justify his £31million price tag, as he has been among Manchester United’s best players in their opening four Premier League matches.
The 20-year-old carried over his form onto the international stage, with an outstanding performance in his sixth national appearance as England emerged 2-0 winners over Switzerland in Euro 2016 qualifying on Tuesday.
And Hodgson has backed Shaw to follow in the footsteps of former international Cole, who earned 107 caps – the fifth-highest tally in England history alongside captain Wayne Rooney.
“We’ve always believed in him [Shaw],” Hodgson said. “He played in the last game in the World Cup against Costa Rica and I thought he played very well, bearing in mind that was his first [tournament] game.
“After that, he was pencilled in as the player who could give Leighton Baines a run for his money but he had a tough season and I think one thing will undoubtedly be proven true. That tough season – and it must have been tough for him and his family – might benefit him in the long run.
“He’s still only 20 and if he keeps going then he’s on track to be another Ashley Cole – a 100-cap man. I would advise him to study Ashley Cole, look at what Ashley did for England and set my sights on the same thing.”