17 year-old Luke Shaw’s debut season is showing no signs of slowing down after receiving his first call up to the England Under-21s.
The full back is unfazed by his rapid rise at national level, and now the youngster is targeting a regular role for both club and country over the next twelve months.
Rumours of an Under-21 call up had been rife since Shaw broke into the first team at Southampton, and now that the opportunity has materialised, Luke is determined to grasp it with both hands.
“It’s brilliant to be called up for England at any level, but for Under-21s is just amazing for me really,” he said exclusively to saintsfc.co.uk.
“It’s something that I’ve been aiming for, and now that I’ve got there I just want to show people what I can do at England level.
“I just want to push myself as far as I can go. I want to be playing in the senior team eventually and maybe in a year’s time or sooner, but I also know I’ve just got to take it as it comes.”
Shaw will join teammate Nathaniel Clyne in the Young Lions squad set to face Sweden in Walsall on Tuesday, with the former Crystal Palace man a veteran in contrast at that level, and the left back admits the transition is going to be easier with a familiar face around.
“He’s a good teammate here and I get on well with him, so it’ll be good to have him there,” Shaw highlighted.
“We haven’t spoken a lot about it, but he tells me that it’s a lot different from what I’ve been doing with the Under 17s and 16s so it’ll be more comfortable for me.
“All the lads here have congratulated me and now I’m able to crack on with things. We play Sweden on Tuesday and we’ll see how that goes.
“There had been talk on Twitter that Stuart Pearce has been watching me all season and I saw that, but I wasn’t getting my hopes up until I got selected. I only found out yesterday through the gaffer and the assistant coach, and it was very good news for me.”
Before then, Shaw will be putting his efforts into a key fixture in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday when Saints travel to Wigan Athletic, and the importance of the game is not lost on the young defender.
“It’s a six pointer,” he affirmed. “Wigan are below us, so it’s a game we need to go and win and take three points from and I believe that we can do that.
“We’re already three points above them, but to be six points ahead would help us a lot.”
Although Mauricio Pochettino’s side came away defeated in their midweek trip to Manchester United, Shaw highlighted that the words of praise from the manager’s opposite number have given the squad a massive lift heading into the weekend’s game at the DW Stadium.
“Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson) said we’re the best team that has played there this season and that gives us a lot of confidence going into the Wigan game.
“We knew how well we could play and we showed that on Wednesday night. As a result, we’re going in with a lot of confidence and belief that we can get something out of this game.”
Shaw didn’t start at Old Trafford due to an illness picked up whilst over in Barcelona, but he explained that his late cameo against United where he was part of the late bombardment in attack, showed a side of his game that he hopes to produce more of in the coming months.
“I’ve always been an attacking full back, that’s how I like to play, but actually since I’ve come into the team I’ve been concentrating more on the defensive part of my game as it was where we struggling from.
“I’ve had to keep myself at bay with defending, but now I’m getting more confidence to push further on up the pitch.
“I know Foxy (Danny Fox) has been patient though and done well in training. He deserved a start sooner or later, but although he did well, hopefully I can force myself back into the team on Saturday.”