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EURO 2020

Luke Shaw names his England player of the tournament so far after Ukraine thumping

Of all the quirky statistics doing the rounds, here is a really off-the-wall one.

Against Ukraine, Luke Shaw provided more assists in less than four minutes than Zinedine Zidane did in 14 appearances at the Euros.

Shaw laughed: “A very strange stat. A nice one, I think. Obviously Zidane was one of the best midfielders ever and I can’t compare to him, like I’ve said before about different people.

“It’s a nice stat to obviously hear but the most important thing for me tonight was reaching the semi-final, getting another game at Wembley in front of our own crowd and hopefully making them happy again.”

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Luke Shaw congratulates Harry Kane after England's first goal against Ukraine
Luke Shaw congratulates Harry Kane after England’s first goal against Ukraine

While Shaw might not be in the same elite bracket as names such as Zidane, he is emerging as one of the stand-out players of Euro 2020, despite not featuring in the opening win against Croatia.

But when asked about the possibility of individual accolades, he laughed again.

“I think, for me, nowhere near the player of the tournament,” he declared.

But he knows a man who he reckons should be a contender – the man who has kept five consecutive clean sheets.

Shaw explained: “I think the concentration in the defence has been unbelievable and of course that starts with Pickers (Jordan Pickford).

“For me, Pickers has been outstanding. He’s been unbelievable, one of our best players this tournament.

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“Like I said, it starts with him. I’m really happy for him. He’s been unbelievable.”

But Shaw does allow himself just a gentle pat on the back for the way he has persevered when others have doubted him.

He said: “I could go through a lot of people to thank but I think the most important one is obviously Gareth for trusting me and putting me in the squad and picking me and playing me.

“But maybe even myself because a lot of people will have doubted me being in the squad and to play maybe.

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“But I’ve kept my head down, kept working hard and hopefully I can keep this responsibility up for the manager.”

Jordan Pickford has been one of England's most impressive players so far
Jordan Pickford has been one of England’s most impressive players so far

And keep proving Jose Mourinho, who had arrived in Rome on the eve of England’s win over Ukraine and has been a frequent critic of Shaw, wrong.

The Manchester United left-back said: “”No, look, that doesn’t matter.

“I think Jose has his opinion. He’s obviously working for talkSPORT. It’s freedom of speech and he can say whatever he likes.

“I just keep going, keep my head down, ignore everything and just focus on what’s going on inside the camp.

“My main objective is to help England. No matter what, I’ll give everything for them and I’ll keep on doing that.”

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