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Three assists, eight chances created – Shaw improving every game, says Southgate

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Jul 2021

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Gareth Southgate hailed the performances of Luke Shaw after the England left-back continued his superb individual campaign at Euro 2020.

Shaw, who came into the tournament on the back of an impressive season with Manchester United, teed up two of England’s goals in the 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine in Rome on Saturday, creating three goalscoring chances in total. 

It marked his second and third assists of Euro 2020, after the left-back – who turns 26 on July 12 – also provided the cross from which Raheem Sterling tucked home the opener against Germany in the last 16.

Having missed England’s opening game, the former Southampton defender has made each one of Southgate’s starting XIs since.

From his four appearances at Euro 2020, Shaw has created eight chances – more than any other England player, with five of those coming from open play. On average, he has created 2.15 opportunities, and 1.07 ‘big chances’, per 90 minutes.

Mason Mount (four) is his nearest rival within England’s squad in terms of chance creation, while no Three Lions player has attempted as many passes (including crosses) into the box as Shaw’s tally of 21.

Of defenders taking part in Euro 2020, only Jordi Alba (11), David Alaba (10) and Andrew Robertson (nine) have created more opportunities so far.

He has also proved his worth defensively as part of a back line which has yet to concede across the opening five games (a European Championship record), winning three of the five tackles he has attempted and making four clearances.

“His [Shaw’s] performances have improved every game,” Southgate told reporters.

“He wasn’t with us for a long time until March, which was his first game in a few years. You usually play those games trying not to make mistakes rather than flourishing.

“He feels comfortable in the environment now and is comfortable in how we want to play. His delivery was great.

“We’ve talked a lot in the week about set-piece goals and we put more emphasis on it. It looked like we would be dangerous in training yesterday and usually that transfers into the game and that’s what happened.”

Asked of his role in England’s attack, Shaw told ITV Sport: “There’s no secret. Defensively and in attack I’ll help the team however I can, I did that with two assists, but there’s no time to lose concentration, we’ve got another massive game.

“Four days, we’ve got to enjoy the special night and be ready for a massive game against Denmark.”

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