Jose Mourinho would not hesitate to choose Ben Chilwell over Luke Shaw for England.
The former Manchester United manager is also reportedly neglecting teammate Marcus Rashford for England’s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on Sunday.
Mourinho made his talkSPORT competitive debut on Friday as he joined Alan Brazil and Ray Parlor in the Breakfast studio, and offered his expert opinion on the Three Lions squad as they prepare to start their Euros campaign .
The legendary manager was reluctant to name the team he would choose, admitting that it was not for him to comment on or override Gareth Southgate’s work.
However, after some encouragement from Brazil and Parlor, Mourinho was quick to list the 11 he would choose to kick off their European Championship campaign.
But, as you might expect, there was no room for Shaw.
Mourinho was fairly outspoken in his opinion of the defender during his tenure as Man United manager, having singled out Shaw for public criticism on several occasions at Old Trafford.
However, he appeared to be a reborn player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and won a number of club accolades after a superb campaign for the Red Devils who finished second in the Premier League.
And while the Special One praised Shaw on his impressive campaign, he insisted he would have no hesitation in picking Chelsea full-back and Champions League winner Chilwell ahead of him.
“At left-back I would go with Chilwell,” Mourinho said exclusively to talkSPORT. “I wouldn’t think twice. I would go with Chilwell.
“I know he plays normally with Chelsea in a five, but he’s smart, he covers space and diagonals very well on the inside, he’s dangerous on offense, he’s good in the air and good on shots set foot, he can defend the possible long accumulation of Croatia in the first phase.
When asked if he would play Shaw, he replied, “No.
“I think he 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’s very calm under pressure.
“I love Chilwell.”
Mourinho has also admitted that he will also not choose Rashford in his first-choice England eleven.
Instead, he believes Jack Grealish is ‘untouchable’ on the left wing and has even compared the Aston Villa captain to one of the greatest players he has ever coached – Portuguese great Luis Figo.
“I think Grealish is untouchable, and the best position for him is from the left, which creates a situation where for me Rashford can only play there.
“I think when he plays right he’s completely lost. The dynamic with Rashford on the right is totally broken, he can’t find it. He’s very good on the left at attacking space and I would see Harry (Kane) fall and attack him with space behind.
“But Grealish, to me, is great and what he creates and his personality – ‘give me the ball’ – reminds me a bit of Luis Figo.
“I don’t like to make comparisons, especially with a Ballon d’Or winner, but Grealish reminds me of my Figo.
“Figo, I had him at different times 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 it – me the ball and I will solve the problems for you ‘.
“The way Grealish gets the ball and attacks people, fouls, gets penalties, he’s very powerful, I like him a lot.”