Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag told one surprise star can engineer Man Utd revival as career ‘peak’ looms

Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Man Utd

Man Utd trio Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane and Aaron Wan-Bissaka

A former Manchester United defender has urged Erik ten Hag to use Luke Shaw as soon as he returns to full fitness, with the full-back an ‘important part of the puzzle’ for the Red Devils.

Shaw was a regular in the Man Utd first team last season, as Ten Hag handed him 47 appearances across all competitions. The left-back registered one goal and six assists in that time as Man Utd won the League Cup, reached the FA Cup final and finished third in the Premier League.

Shaw played in two games at the start of the current campaign but picked up a muscle injury in his second appearance against Tottenham Hotspur, which ended in a 2-0 defeat.

The England international has not been seen in a Man Utd shirt since. And left-back has proved to be a problematic position for Ten Hag, with Sergio Reguilon and Tyrell Malacia also getting injured.

Ten Hag was forced to put midfielder Sofyan Amrabat there, but when that did not work out he began to rely on Victor Lindelof or Diogo Dalot.

Luckily for the Red Devils, Reguilon recently returned to fitness and has started to pick up game time once again. But he could end up being demoted back to the bench, as the Evening Standard state that Shaw is aiming to return to the side after the upcoming international break.

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And Shaw’s return could be key in helping Man Utd get back to winning ways, following disappointing results against Copenhagen, Newcastle United and Manchester City in recent weeks.

Mikael Silvestre, who made 361 appearances for Man Utd between 1999 and 2008, has heaped praise on Shaw and suggested the 28-year-old might be able to help kickstart a turnaround in Man Utd’s fortunes.

Luke Shaw ‘reaching his peak’ at Man Utd

“It can’t get any worse and I think there are players in situations that aren’t ideal,” Silvestre said in a recent interview (via Manchester Evening News’ live blog, 10/11 at 13:11). “There are injuries and the team is unsettled. The first-team players are unavailable which makes trying to play football difficult. Things will get better when the squad is back to normal.

“It’s a rough patch but they need to stick together. Luke Shaw has been one of the better players for Erik since he joined the club and he’s reaching his peak so Luke is a big loss.

“They’ve had Lindelof, Dalot, Amrabat and Reguilon playing there so Shaw is an important part of the puzzle.”

While a left-back such as Shaw is unlikely to chip in with plenty of goals to help steer Man Utd back in the right direction, his return will certainly be a boost for everyone involved with the club. Shaw playing regularly should help the central defenders get more used to a typical left-back again, without the constant chopping and changing Ten Hag has had to do.

Plus, Shaw is good at getting down the left flank and helping out his winger in attacking areas, so he could end up registering some assists for the likes of Rasmus Hojlund, Marcus Rashford or Bruno Fernandes.

Before Shaw returns to the starting eleven, Man Utd will face Luton Town at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Man Utd and Arsenal will have to wait longer to sign a classy Premier League star after he penned a new contract with his current club.