Luke Shaw fit for England’s Euro 2024 quarter-final clash with Switzerland

England manager Gareth Southgate says Luke Shaw is available to start Saturday’s European Championship quarter-final against Switzerland.

The Euro 2020 final goalscorer was selected for the tournament in Germany despite being out since mid-February with hamstring issues.

Shaw was the only out-and-out left-back named in England’s 26-man squad, with Southgate admitting it was a calculated gamble on a player he had hoped would be available for the second group game.

The 28-year-old has yet to feature in Germany and was an unused substitute in last weekend’s 2-1 extra-time win over Slovakia, but the Manchester United full-back could make his long-awaited return against Switzerland.

Kieran Trippier has been absolutely outstanding for us,” Southgate said of the makeshift left-back, having confirmed suspended Marc Guehi is his side’s only absentee.

“Luke is available, he is available to start, but Kieran has also done a brilliant job for the team.

“He obviously doesn’t give us that balance that a natural left-footer can give you, but his leadership, his communication on the pitch – if you ask any of the wingers who play with him or the players who play alongside him, his talking is phenomenal.

“It helps them to play the game. It is a much undervalued quality. It is a bit of a dying art, really, good talkers on the pitch.

“You can’t have enough of them. He has exceptional qualities in that area as well as some quality on the ball. He has adapted and done a brilliant, brilliant job for us.”

On Shaw, manager Southgate added: “We’re not concerned that he would break down, but there’s obviously a decision regarding match sharpness and how quickly you can adjust back into that intensity of the cauldron of the tournament.

“But we’re happy with his progress, his commitment to do that. There’s been some difficult days for him on his own through the last few weeks.

“Some great work by our medical and physical performance teams and I’m really pleased for him that he’s now an option for us. That balance is something that has been difficult for us.”

Shaw’s return will be a boost to an England side that has lacked balance, although Southgate hit back at the suggestion he may now regret having not included another specialist left-back.

“I’m not sure who that would have been because the other options also had injury problems,” he said.

“And then we wouldn’t have found a better left-footer to play than Trippier has played with his right.

Luke Shaw during a training session at the Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land in Blankenhain
Shaw has not played competitive football since February (Adam Davy/PA)

“With Luke we initially thought third group game, first knockout game. That then looked like it might accelerate a bit, but we probably ended up sort of in the territory we thought we might be and given we had 26 we were happy to take that risk.

“We feel he can play a part now and we’re still focused on being here for another 10 days. How much that part can be, who knows?

“But as we’ve seen in the tournament with the impact our substitutions have made, then five minutes, 30 minutes, 90 minutes could be critical at any point.

“I’m pleased we’ve got him here because he’s unique in terms of the attributes he’s got for the position that he plays.”

Kieran Trippier in action for England against Slovakia
Kieran Trippier has started at left-back in all four of England’s Euro 2024 matches (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Trippier started as left-back against Slovakia before Bukayo Saka and Ezri Konsa played there between a spell of Eberechi Eze at wing-back.

“We have got some different options and throughout the squad we’ve got slightly different profiles of players who can play in a number of different positions, which is a great asset for us as a group,” Southgate added.

“When players like Eberechi come on the other night and did such a good job in two or three different positions in a short period of time, that’s brilliant for the team.

“People are really sacrificing themselves for the team as well as playing well when they’re coming into the games, so we’re very happy with the different options we have in that respect.”