Luke Shaw, the talented left-back from Manchester United, was the only England player not to train ahead of their crucial Euro 2024 match against Denmark. His absence has raised concerns for Gareth Southgate and the team, who are already dealing with a lack of depth in defense.

Luke Shaw's role and recovery

Despite his limited appearances for Manchester United last season, Gareth Southgate included Luke Shaw in the Euro 2024 squad. Shaw was featured only 15 times in his club and missed many games due to injury. His fitness was a gamble for Southgate, but Shaw's potential impact on the team was undeniable. He played a key role in England's run to the Euro 2021 final, even scoring in the final match.

However, Shaw's recovery has been slow. Ahead of the second group stage game against Denmark, it was confirmed that Shaw did not join the rest of the team for training. England's official X account stated: “25 players are on the pitch for this morning’s training session, as @LukeShaw23 continues his individual program elsewhere.”

This update has left fans and analysts worried about England's defensive lineup. Southgate has used Kieran Trippier out of position before, but this strategy has flaws. Trippier, playing on his weaker foot, struggled against Serbia, showing the limitations of such an arrangement. Shaw's quick recovery is crucial if England aims to go far in the tournament.

England's defensive concerns

England's lack of depth at left-back is a significant issue. Shaw's fitness is a concern; without him, Southgate has to rely on less ideal options. The situation became evident during the match against Serbia when Trippier's positioning issues highlighted the need for a natural left-back.

The team’s defensive stability is at risk without Shaw. His ability to contribute both defensively and offensively makes him a valuable player. Southgate hopes to see Shaw return for the final group-stage game against Slovenia. Having him back would strengthen the defense and balance the team's formation more.

Shaw was on the bench for England's opening win against Serbia but was unused. This cautious approach indicates that Southgate knows Shaw's importance and does not want to risk further injury. The manager is likely saving Shaw for crucial moments later in the tournament, provided he regains full fitness.

In the meantime, England must adapt and make the best use of available players. The match against Denmark will test the team’s resilience and ability to cope without a key player. Another important defender, Kyle Walker is expected to play a significant role and join Southgate for the pre-match media conference in Frankfurt.

The importance of Luke Shaw's presence

Shaw's influence extends beyond his defensive duties. His ability to push forward and support the attack adds another dimension to England's play. His crossing ability and vision can create scoring opportunities, making him a dual threat on the pitch. Without him, England loses a vital part of their strategy.

Moreover, Shaw’s experience in big matches is invaluable. Having played in high-pressure situations, his calmness and leadership on the field can help guide younger players. This experience is something England desperately needs in a tournament setting where every match can be decisive.

The road ahead for England in Euro 2024 is challenging. While the team has shown promise, the absence of key players like Shaw could be a hurdle. Southgate's management skills and the squad's adaptability will be tested. The hope is that Shaw's training program will enable him to return to full fitness soon, providing a much-needed boost to the team.

Shaw’s absence from training is a worrying sign for England as they prepare for their Euro 2024 clash with Denmark. His potential impact on the team is immense, and his recovery is crucial for England's success in the tournament. Southgate and the team must navigate these challenges and hope for Shaw's swift return to bolster their defensive line.