April 17, 2021

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Ashley Cole gives his verdict on the race to become England’s first-choice left-back (ITV)

Ashley Cole believes Manchester United’s Luke Shaw is leading in the race to be England’s first-choice left-back for the European Championship this summer.

Shaw has been excellent for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season and has been rewarded with his first England call-up since September 2018.

The United left-back is competing for a place in Gareth Southgate’s side alongside Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

Shaw delivered another impressive display in England’s 2-0 win over Albania on Sunday as he provided the cross for Harry Kane’s opening goal.

And Cole, who was capped 107 times by England, believes Shaw is ahead of both Chilwell and Saka.

‘I think it’s a tight one between Shaw who I think is just pipping it at the minute,’ Cole told ITV.

Luke Shaw impressed as England sealed a 2-0 win over Albania (Getty)

‘I think he is playing more consistently for Manchester United, where as Chilwell… some days he plays [for Chelsea] and some days he don’t.

‘I think at the moment Shaw is in the lead.

‘But who knows? Going into the last games of the Premier League season, who can hold their nerve and keep that consistency up before the squad gets announced.’

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane also agreed with Cole’s verdict.

‘This year he’s been outstanding,’ said Keane.

‘I know he’s had issues under Mourinho, obviously, but he’s been consistent this year.

‘Going forward but defensively I think he has the edge over the other full-backs in the England squad.

‘He’s improved that, no one has really got the better of him this season one vs one.’

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