Luke Shaw might be locked in a battle with Ashley Cole for a place at the World Cup, but he revealed that the Chelsea star offered him words of support while on duty with England.
Both players were given 45 minutes in this week’s 1-0 win over Denmark as Roy Hodgson attempts to decide which of the two left-backs will go to Brazil as understudy to Leighton Baines.
For Shaw, the game represented a first senior cap for his country yet, while he poses a significant threat to the veteran Cole’s position, the 18-year-old received encouragement from his colleague.
“He was very supportive and, before I came on at half-time, he came up to me, gave me a tap on the head and said ‘enjoy this experience and have fun’.
“Ashley has always been like that. He is always going to support whoever is playing in his position and it was great for me to hear that from such a big superstar like Ash.
“As a kid, I watched him a lot, because, obviously, I went to the games, and to hear that from him was great.”
With his international debut being followed by yesterday's victory at Palace, Shaw was struggling to remember ever having experienced such an incredible few days.
“It is probably the best week of my life, with the win at Palace and playing 45 minutes for England on Wednesday,” he said.
“That was a dream come true and I don’t want to stop here, I want to keep pushing on and keep getting better.”
Even amidst all the chaos of this week, Shaw still took time out to go back and visit one of his biggest influences – his former school, Rydens Enterprise in Surrey – to mark their contribution to his rise.
“I went on Thursday after training,” he said. “They were made up for me, and some of the teachers were crying.
“It was great to see them and some of the little kids there that want to meet me, because I had been to the school. It was great to meet them.”