Luke Shaw at full-time against Wolves

Ten Hag praises Shaw’s versatility

Monday 02 January 2023 13:30

Erik ten Hag believes the versatility Luke Shaw offers Manchester United at the back is a bonus for the Reds.

A natural left-back, our no.23 has played the last two games at centre-back alongside Raphael Varane after illness or international responsibilities made most of our senior centre-halves unavailable for selection. 

Despite the new position, Shaw has impressed in both games, helping us to earn two clean sheets and six points.

In his pre-match press conference for Tuesday's Premier League clash with Bournemouth, Ten Hag heaped praise on the defender, labelling his performances as "fabulous."

Part two: Erik's pre-Bournemouth press conference Video

Part two: Erik's pre-Bournemouth press conference

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“We have seen in the last two games [that Shaw could play left centre-back often]," Erik said to the media.

"I think he did fabulous and was impressive.

“But we also know he is really good as a full-back [so] it’s an extra option and [that] is always good for a team.” 

Ten Hag alluded to the fact that Shaw has been his preferred alternative to World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez, who is yet to play after his triumph in Qatar, due to the left-footed nature of the Englishman. 

“I thought it was the best match with Rapha and Shaw [against Wolves],” the boss said.

“Especially defending-wise, we know the speed from Wolves over on the right side, and he [Shaw] could cover that because we wanted to attack over on the left side with offensive game from Tyrell Malacia, so that was a good fit.” 

Shaw reacts to centre-back role


Luke Shaw discusses playing alongside Raphael Varane in the last two games.

With Martinez gradually working his way back from the international break, Shaw could soon shift back over into his natural left-back position. 

But it could be something Ten Hag persists with or revisits during the impending busy match schedule because, as he explained, “in possession, you always – with a left foot – get better angles on the pitch.”