Luke Shaw made his first appearance for the national side in 18 months during England’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday night, coming after 83 minutes.
The youngster had not featured for England since suffering a double leg fracture during Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat to PSV Eindhoven back in September 2015.
Gareth Southgate noted prior to the clash in Dortmund that Shaw’s inclusion was underpinned by a desire to boost the youngster’s confidence following a difficult season under Mourinho.
And the 21-year-old duly received an important confidence booster against the world champions, occupying the left wing-back role for the closing stages as England – dominant in the first half – struggled to forge an opening.
Shaw can look ahead to life under Southgate with plenty of optimism. The 46-year-old chose to include the youngster in spite of the fact that he had only managed 70 minutes in the Premier League since October – a clear illustration of a desire to involve Shaw in his long-term plans.
His predicament under Jose Mourinho, however, is decidedly murky: the Portuguese has previously expressed doubts over Shaw’s capacity to carry out his methods and recent reports of a potential bid for Barcelona’s Jordi Alba suggest that the youngster may not figure in the 54-year-old’s plans for beyond this season.