Luke Shaw admits his road to redemption with England has been a long and painful one all of his own making.
In a brutal assessment of his faltering international career, Shaw admits he has let down Gareth Southgate and his Three Lions in the past and thought he'd blown his chances of winning more caps.
Shaw appeared to have the world at his feet when he joined Manchester United from Southampton in a £30m deal in 2014 that made him the most expensive teenager on the planet.
The left back was part of England's World Cup squad competing in Brazil at the time and his friends and family celebrated his move to United with endless bottles of champagne at a Rio hotel overlooking the Copacabana Beach.
But Shaw soon lost his sparkle due to a combination of serious injuries and attitude problems, that left people questioning his worth and the man himself out in the cold for both club and country.
Shaw spent three years in the international wilderness after withdrawing from several squads to leave Southgate fearing he couldn't trust him.
He said: "I've a few massive regrets and I couldn't stop thinking of the mistakes that I made in the past, especially with England. I pulled out of a lot of camps.
"Around that time, I was maybe not in the best condition but I think over the last two years I've thought about it so much – that was my biggest regret. And yeah, of course, letting Gareth down.
"Maybe at the time, mentally I wasn't right. I did have problems at the time, as in injuries, but maybe they were ones that could have been sort of dealt with.
"There was a lot on my mind, especially in the times I had at United. We had a sit down as a family and obviously my mum and dad were thinking that that might be it for me with England. We had discussions and thought maybe I wouldn't be able to get back."
Three things Gareth Southgate learnt from England's win over Albania ahead of Euros
Shaw made his first England appearance since 2018 in Sunday night's 2-0 win in Albania, after being recalled to the squad following months of brilliant performances for United.
Now 25 and producing some of the best football of his career, Shaw admits he is grateful to be given another crack at establishing himself on the biggest stage.
He said: "I'm just really happy. Whenever you put on that England shirt, it's always a massive honour.
"I think playing for your country is a massive privilege and an honour and I think at times I took advantage of that.
"I didn't really think about it too much, but now I just want to forget the mistakes I've made in the past and Gareth's done that, so we're just focusing on the future and obviously what's happening now. The past is the past.
"I worked hard and I’m glad that Gareth has given me another chance. Hopefully I can just impress him and stake my claim to be in the squad.
"I wanted to get back involved with England. Who wouldn’t? I'm just really privileged to be able to get another chance and hopefully stay in the squad for more games to come."
Source: Read Full Article