Jesus perez has backed Luke Shaw to take any England senior international call-up in his stride.
The Saints assistant manager was speaking after Roy Hodgson gave the clearest indication yet that the teenage left back was set to win a first senior call-up for next month’s friendly against Denmark at Wembley.
If Shaw does make it into the squad, and even into the team, he will become the fourth Saints star to harbour realistic hopes of England selection for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Shaw is being tipped to feature against the Danes as Ashley Cole has not played a league game for Chelsea since January 11.
Few doubt that Shaw has the ability to make the grade, but at such a young age the major question mark is over how he might cope mentally.
Perez is undaunted by the prospect.
“To be a top player it’s not enough to be fit, to have a good technical ability, you have to get a quiet mentality because, if not, all situations around you can affect your performance,” he said.
“Luke is moving on, moving on, moving on, step by step, so is obviously aware of the situation and the people are talking about him but that doesn’t affect the situation.
“He’s doing very well. He’s a normal person, a normal player and everyone loves Luke for the way he is doing.”
He added: “Well, we don’t know what Hodgson is thinking about in terms of the squad.
“We know he has followed our team often, so he is at St Mary’s or when we play away, so he knows perfectly our players.
“It is going to be great news if some of our players will go to Brazil, but the most important thing is now – let the players to play and be relaxed.
“They are getting all they deserve.
“Luke Shaw is a quiet player with great quality and just with his job and his performances he will deserve everything.
“I don't know if it will be now or not, but his future is massive.”
Perez isn’t worried that the prospect getting to a World Cup will have a negative effect on any of his players.
“They know the best way to get some chance to go to Brazil in different national teams is to train hard, to train with focus and just think to improve,” reflected the assistant manager.
“That is the best scenario to get chances to stay in the national teams.
“If you are doing well, if you are improving, you are moving your performance ahead.
“Sometimes you are challenged better and bigger names in the squad but if your performance is better then why not your manager in the national team will pick you rather than another player?”
Former Saints and England left back Graeme Le Saux has also been glowing in his praise of Shaw and believes staying at Saints is having a positive impact on his development.
“I’ve been watching him play quite a lot,” said Le Saux.
“He has the qualities of an attacking full back who has a lot of pace and a lot of energy.
“His defending is getting better as he gets more experienced.
“He’s still very young and the more experience he gains for his club and at under-21 level, I feel that he’s in the right place at the moment and his development is crucial.”