Luke Shaw
Luke ShawGetty

England U21 coach Gareth Southgate says Manchester United's Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria are helping Luke Shaw to become a world class player.

The 19-year-old arrived at Old Trafford on a £27m deal from Southampton in the summer. He had an impressive last two seasons at St Mary's Stadium and had also attracted interest from Chelsea before joining the Red Devils.

Louis van Gaal also added Di Maria and Falcao to the squad as the star duo were signed in the final days of the summer transfer window. Southgate says Shaw is aware of what it is like working with world class players, which he feels will help the development of the England international.

"I think what he now has is a recognition of what "world class" looks like. He would have known there was a level, but now he knows there is a level above that," Southgate said, as quoted in the Mirror.

"He might have had an idea of what he thought it was before, but training at Manchester United with the likes of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria has given him a full understanding of the concept now."

"He was able to share those stories among our lads in the U21s because all players at times in their careers think they are nearly there - and then you discover you still have a bit of a way to go.

"You continually have to strive to be better than you are and Luke realises that now," he concluded.

Meanwhile, Southgate heaped praise on U21 midfielder Will Hughes for his "fantastic" display during his side's victory over Croatia.

Liam Moore's ninth minute goal was cancelled by Marko Livaja seven minutes before the break. However, it was Hughes second half goal that helped the Young Lions seal a 2-1 victory and also a place in next summer's European U21 Championship.

"He was fantastic. I think he was the youngest player in our team and has played with great maturity in both matches, under scrutiny and the spotlight," the England U21 coach told the FA's official website.

"His touch and his awareness was first class. It's difficult to single people out because there were so many good performances, but I thought he was outstanding."