Manchester United

Jose Mourinho Drags Luke Shaw Into Bukayo Saka's Penalty Debate

Mourinho questioned why Luke Shaw didn't take a penalty for England
Mourinho questioned why Luke Shaw didn't take a penalty for England / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has questioned why Luke Shaw did not take a penalty for England in their Euro 2020 defeat to Italy on Sunday.

Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho failed to convert their spot-kicks, with Gareth Southgate facing heavy criticism for allowing so much pressure on the youngsters.

Former Manchester United manager Mourinho believes players like Shaw, Raheem Sterling, and John Stones should have risen to the occasion following their experience at club level.

“The decision of the penalty takers, I think it is hard to leave Saka as the last one,” Mourinho told talkSPORT.

"I think it’s too much for a kid to have everything on his shoulders in this moment, but I don’t know, I have to ask that question to Gareth because many times what happens is that players who should be there are not there, players who should be there, they run away from the responsibility.

“Because, don’t ask me who because I will not tell you, but I was told 100 per cent that one player that could be in this team and was not in this team, one of the reasons was in the World Cup semi-final he should have taken a penalty and he refused. So sometimes these situations happen and honest people like Gareth don’t expose the player. I don’t know in this case, I really don’t know, but I think it doesn’t matter if you’re a great penalty taker or not.

"In this situation, where was Raheem Sterling? Where was John Stones? Where was Luke Shaw? Why didn’t Jordan Henderson or Kyle Walker stay on the pitch? Because in reality it’s very, very hard for Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to come and take a penalty after one touch on the ball. But for Saka to have the destiny of a country on his shoulders… I think it’s too much.

“We can speak about the previous days and how they were amazing at taking penalties, but the problem with penalties is it’s one thing is to take one in training and one thing to take in a match, and for those situations there is no way to train them properly because you can’t train with the real pressure, it’s something you only feel in that moment. Poor Saka, I just feel very sorry for him.”

Saka, Rashford, and Sancho were sent a barrage of vile racist messages on social media, prompting the footballing community to come out in support of them, with England captain Harry Kane claiming that people who abused the trio aren't fans of the team.