Gareth Southgate might take a leaf out of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s book to tackle England’s defensive dilemma.
The Three Lions are struggling with several injury issues ahead of this summer’s European Championships, with experienced players like Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson still not near their full fitness.
Maguire’s injury issue is a big headache for Southgate due to lack of reliable centre-backs available at his disposal.
Following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury, the inclusion of Leeds United centre-back Ben White ahead of the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Jesse Lingard might be due to uncertainty at the back.
As such, using Luke Shaw in the left side of a back-three like Solskjaer did during the 2019-20 season, could work wonders for the England gaffer.
As per the Telegraph, the 50-year-old is considering precisely this tactical reshuffle against Croatia, with England practising a 3-4-3 formation as well as a four-man defence.
Solskjaer’s decision to deploy Shaw in a back three turned out to be very rewarding for both United’s defence and the player himself, who was struggling for confidence during that period.
Further, Brandon Williams was deployed ahead of the 25-year-old by the Norwegian tactician. In Champions League winner Ben Chilwell, Southgate is blessed with a superior wing-back, making his job even easier than his counterpart.
Regardless, making such a big tactical change just few days before their Euro 2020 campaign kicks off isn’t ideal. The manager would rather hope the United captain is available for selection.
Currently, Maguire might just be England’s most vital asset to ‘bring it home’.