‘I wouldn’t think twice’ – Jose Mourinho explains why Ben Chilwell should get England nod over Luke Shaw and backs ‘Luis Figo-like’ Jack Grealish to start ahead of Marcus Rashford

Jose Mourinho wouldn’t think twice about picking Ben Chilwell over Luke Shaw for England.

The former Manchester United manager would also overlook his teammate Marcus Rashford for England’s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho has joined team talkSPORT for Euro 2020 – as we bring you EVERY GAME of the tournament this summer
talkSPORT

Mourinho made his competitive talkSPORT debut on Friday as he joined Alan Brazil and Ray Parlour in the Breakfast studio, and offered his expert opinion on the Three Lions team as they prepare to start their Euros campaign.

The legendary manager was hesitant to name the team he would pick, admitting it was not his place to comment or overstep the mark on Gareth Southgate’s job.

However, after some encouragement from Brazil and Parlour, Mourinho soon listed the 11 he would select to kick off their European Championship campaign.

But, perhaps predictably, there was no place for Shaw.

Mourinho had an uneasy relationship with Shaw at Man United
GETTY

Mourinho was quite candid in his opinion of the defender during his time as Man United manager, having singled out Shaw for public criticism on more than one occasion at Old Trafford.

He’s looked a player reborn under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, and earned a number of in-club awards after a superb campaign for the Red Devils who finished runners-up in the Premier League.

And while the Special One praised Shaw for his impressive campaign, he insisted he would have no hesitation to pick Chelsea full-back and Champions League winner Chilwell ahead of him.

“At left-back I would go with Chilwell,” Mourinho exclusively told talkSPORT. “I wouldn’t think twice. I’d go with Chilwell.

“I know that he plays normally with Chelsea in a five, but he is intelligent, he covers the space and the diagonals inside very well, he’s dangerous in attack, he’s good in the air and good on set pieces, he can defend well the possible long build up from Croatia on the first phase.”

Chilwell gets the nod from Mourinho after he played a key role in Chelsea’s Champions League victory this season
Getty

Asked if he would play Shaw, he replied: “No.

“I think he’s had a good season. Clearly an evolution in terms of emotion and professionalism. But Chilwell has something more, especially with the ball. The way he thinks, he is very calm under pressure.

“I like Chilwell a lot.”

Mourinho also admitted he wouldn’t pick Rashford – another of his former Man United players – in his first-choice England XI either.

Instead, he believes Jack Grealish is ‘untouchable’ on the left wing and even compared the Aston Villa captain to one of the best players he has ever coached – Portuguese great Luis Figo.

“I think Grealish is untouchable,” he said. “And the best position for him is coming from the left, which creates a situation where, for me, Rashford can only play there.

Mourinho doesn’t rate Rashford as a starter for England
AFP

“I think when he plays on the right he is completely lost. The dynamic with Rashford on the right, it is totally broken, he doesn’t find it. He is very good on the left at attacking space and I would see Harry (Kane) dropping and him attacking the space in behind.

“But Grealish, for me, is tremendous and what he creates and his personality – ‘give me the ball’ – he reminds me a little bit of Luis Figo.

“I don’t like making comparisons, especially with a Golden Ball winner, but Grealish reminds me of my Figo.

“Figo, I had him in different periods in my career but I had him in his last season as a player at Inter Milan and even in his last season he was like, ‘give me the ball and I will resolve the problems for you’.

“The way Grealish gets the ball and attacks people, gets fouls, gets penalties, he’s very powerful, I like him very much.”

Mourinho is a big fan of Grealish and even compared him to Ballon d’Or winner Figo!
AFP

One Man United player Mourinho would pick, however, is goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

“I am a Henderson fan,” he said, as he backed him to start over Jordan Pickford.

“When I was at United he was a kid, and I tell this story because it shows his nature.

“He came to my office asking for a loan, he went to Shrewsbury, but this kid said to me then, ‘When I come back, I want to be number one’. We looked at each other because we had (David) De Gea and this kid never played one game, but he has had incredible development.

“The loans were all very successful. The way United organised them I think United did amazing for him and he did amazing for himself.

“He has this arrogance in him, this trust and belief which I think an England goalkeeper needs.”

Read more from Jose Mourinho and find out his England starting XI vs Croatia HERE

 

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