England XI vs Croatia: Jose Mourinho 'wouldn't think twice' about picking Ben Chilwell

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We’re a little more than 48 hours away from England’s opening game at Euro 2020.

By now, Gareth Southgate will know his starting XI but the rest of the country are constantly speculating over who will be in the line-up to face Croatia.

Some players pick themselves.

Read more: Euro 2020: News, Groups, Fixtures, Dates, Tickets, Odds And Everything You Need To Know

Jordan Pickford will surely start in goal, while John Stones will be in defence. It seems Declan Rice and Mason Mount are almost certain to be in the XI with Harry Kane leading the line up front.

But there are question marks surrounding numerous positions - especially at full-back.

A lot was made of Southgate’s decision to pick four right-backs in his 26-man squad. That issue was eased by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s untimely injury which has caused the Liverpool man to miss the tournament.

Still, it’s a choice between Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier to play right-back if Southgate opts for back-four.

But there’s also a choice to be made at left-back.


Both Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell have enjoyed successful campaigns for Manchester United and Chelsea respectively and it appears to be a 50/50 choice.

However, one man doesn’t quite see it that way.


Jose Mourinho was asked to talk through England’s starting XI on talkSPORT on Friday morning and he admitted that he “wouldn’t think twice” about starting Chilwell in that position.

He added: “I think he [Shaw] had a good season, clearly an evolution in terms of emotion, professionalism, but I think Chilwell has something more.”

Incidentally, here is the XI Mourinho would start with against Croatia:

Are you surprised?

We shouldn’t be, of course.

To say that Mourinho’s relationship with Shaw at United was strained would be an understatement. The Portuguese boss publicly called out the left-back on numerous occasions, most notably after a draw against Everton in 2017 when he said: "He [Shaw] had a good performance, but it was his body with my brain. He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him."

Shaw has later said that it was a difficult period for him but he continued to work hard.

"It was difficult because I wasn't able to get my word across," Shaw admitted. "A lot of people were behind me here, so I knew I had that backing, but I just needed to keep my head down and keep quiet.

"People were saying negative things about me but I just look back at it as a learning curve and something that has improved me as a person off the pitch, not just on it.


"You always have some doubts. I have been very unfortunate to pick up the injuries I have had but I've always believed I can be an important player here.

"You want to be here and showing people what you can do. Hopefully, I can keep doing that and proving people wrong."

Shaw certainly has proved a lot of people wrong - although it seems he’s still yet to win over his former manager...

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