Luke Shaw Declares Fitness Ahead of Euro 2024 Semifinal

England defender Luke Shaw has declared himself fit to start Wednesday’s Euro 2024 semifinal against the Netherlands, ending a long-running debate over his selection for the tournament. The Manchester United left back has been recovering from a muscle injury and played his first game since February when he came off the bench in England’s quarterfinal victory against Switzerland.

Shaw’s return comes at a crucial time for England, who are looking to reach another final after their runner-up finish at Euro 2020. He has faced criticism for his injury struggles and his inclusion in the squad, but he has shown his commitment to the team and his desire to contribute.

“Of course I think I am (fit to play a full game), but obviously that’s solely down to (England manager Gareth Southgate’s) decision on what he does. But I feel fit and I’m ready to go,” Shaw said.

Shaw’s injury problems made him a much-disputed selection for Euro 2024 as England’s only specialist left back. Kieran Trippier, a naturally right-footed player, has been filling in the position but has faced criticism for cutting inside toward the center of the field instead of attacking down the left wing. This has been part of a wider criticism from many England fans of what they see as Southgate’s tendency towards caution over entertainment.

Some fans threw plastic cups at Southgate during a group-stage game, and the manager has acknowledged the difficult “personal” backlash he has faced. However, Shaw remains focused on the team’s success.

“I think the most important thing is winning,” Shaw said. “And at the moment, whether people like it or not, the way we play and how the team are playing, for us, we’re in the semifinals. That’s all that matters.”

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