Jose Mourinho would not pick his former Manchester United players Marcus Rashford or Luke Shaw if he was selecting the England side to face Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener on Sunday.
Mourinho said both Harry Kane and Jack Grealish would be “untouchables” in his starting XI, and that left no room for Rashford, one of the most reliable performers in Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese went with an attacking trio of Grealish, Mason Mount and Phil Foden behind Kane, with Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips behind.
“Grealish is untouchable and his best position is coming in from the left,” Mourinho told talkSPORT. “It creates a situation, because Rashford can only play there. When he plays on the right he completely loses his dynamic, it is totally broken. He is very good on the left, attacking space.
“Grealish for me is tremendous in what he creates. He reminds me a little bit, I don’t lie, he reminds me of Luis Figo…the way he gets forward, gets penalties, he’s very powerful and I like him a lot.
“I would say Grealish on the left, Mount as the number 10 and it’s something I like a lot, inverted wingers, so I would play Foden on the right.”
Mourinho, who openly criticised Shaw while at United, named a back four of John Stones, Tyrone Mings, Ben Chilwell and Kyle Walker.
Dean Henderson was the selection in goal, the only United player he selected with Harry Maguire injured. Maguire is on the mend though and returned to full training on Thursday.
“At left-back I would go with Chilwell,” Mourinho said. “I wouldn’t think twice…He is intelligent, he covers the space, is dangerous in attack, good in the air and at set-pieces.
“(Shaw) I think has had a good season, clearly an evolution in terms of emotionally and professionally, but I think Chilwell has something more, especially with the ball, the way he thinks. He is very calm under pressure. I like Chilwell a lot.”
Mourinho’s faith in Henderson
Henderson has only one cap for England, but Mourinho said he had full faith in the 24-year-old as he chose him ahead of Jordan Pickford.
“I am a Henderson fan,” he said. “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.”
Asked to rate England’s chances of winning a tournament which will end with a Wembley final on July 11, Mourinho said: “Can? 100 per cent. Should? It is a little bit too much, extra pressure they don’t need – but of course they can.
“They’ve got the potential. They should be positive and believe in themselves.”
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