England v Netherlands: Luke Shaw overcomes injury nightmare to be in frame for Euro 2024 semi-final

LUKE SHAW says he is fit to start England’s Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands having revealed a recent setback in training meant he feared his tournament was over before it had even started.

The 28-year-old endured his “most frustrating season” to date having dealt with “injury after injury”, restricting him to just 15 appearances for Manchester United.

Shaw suffered a hamstring injury in mid-February that he hoped to return from before May’s FA Cup final, only to suffer a tear that laid him low for a further six weeks and made him a doubt for the Euros.

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Gareth Southgate took a calculated gamble by naming him in England’s 26-man squad, with the left-back making his first appearance in 139 days off the bench in Saturday’s quarter-final shoot-out win against Switzerland.

BACK IN THE GAME: England's Bukayo Saka (left) celebrates with Luke Shaw after scoring England's equaliser against Switzerland on Saturday. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PABACK IN THE GAME: England's Bukayo Saka (left) celebrates with Luke Shaw after scoring England's equaliser against Switzerland on Saturday. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA
BACK IN THE GAME: England's Bukayo Saka (left) celebrates with Luke Shaw after scoring England's equaliser against Switzerland on Saturday. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA

“The last four months have been really tough,” the Euro 2020 final goalscorer said.

“I think obviously, at the start I was expected to come back a lot sooner but, you know, I went through quite a few setbacks, to be honest. But I’m here now and it was really nice to get on the other night.

“I’ve been itching to get some minutes. It’s been a long while but really pleased that I was able to get on the pitch and get some minutes, and of course, now hopefully get some more in the next game.”

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Asked if he feels fit to start and play 90 minutes or even longer, Shaw said: “Yeah, of course. I think I am. But obviously that’s solely down to Gareth’s decision on what he does, but how I feel, I feel fit and ready to go.”

IN THE FRAME: England's Luke Shaw speaks during a press conference on Monday. Picture: Adam Davy/PAIN THE FRAME: England's Luke Shaw speaks during a press conference on Monday. Picture: Adam Davy/PA
IN THE FRAME: England's Luke Shaw speaks during a press conference on Monday. Picture: Adam Davy/PA

Shaw wants to repay the faith of Southgate, who took the bold decision to make the recovering United defender the only out-and-out left-back in his squad.

It was a decision Shaw reveals he feared nearly backfired after suffering another setback during England training in Germany.

Asked if he feared he would miss the whole tournament, he said: “Yeah, I think so. I think purely because of what I’d been through.

“It was just in training. I actually overstretched to be honest. It was only minor and I’m here now.”