Neville makes a big claim about Shaw this season
Gary Neville is perhaps the greatest full-back in Manchester United history and his opinion on the position is incredibly well respected, so Luke Shaw will be delighted by his comments on Sunday night.
“best left-back in the country”right now.
Such a noteworthy statement followed Luke’s superb performance in the 2-0 victory over Manchester City, in which he scored our second goal by marauding up the left wing, exchanging passes with Marcus Rashford and unleashing a low finish that beat goalkeeper Ederson.
Shaw was voted the Man of the Match by users of our Official App and his display against the Blues will surely have boosted his chances of earning an England recall, given that Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate was among the very few people in the stand at the Etihad Stadium.
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“He has been outstanding this season for United,”explains United legend Neville.
“A Luke Shaw that is fit, a Luke Shaw that is physically good and a Luke Shaw that is confident is the best left-back in the country in my opinion. But all of those three things combined at once has probably only happened at certain moments in his career.
“That has been a problem for him. It happened under [Mauricio] Pochettino at Southampton, a little period under [Louis] van Gaal that I can remember a few years ago when he was starting to build confidence in those three areas, but certainly this is the best period that he has had.
“We have seen him in the last week or two, just go down in a couple of games and like he is just on the edge a little bit, and that would worry me if I was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. You might be looking at him and thinking, ‘do I keep him going because he is playing well and actually bringing him off the roundabout would make it worse, and then he might get injured’.
“So I just think how they handle him in the next few weeks is important. Gareth Southgate will be watching him intently and thinking, ‘well I know Luke Shaw and I have seen him before’. He had almost given up on Luke Shaw but he can’t give up on him now. He is staring right at him and that is the best performing left-back in the country at the moment, in terms of English left-backs.
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“So for me what he has done today, he could have scored in the first half as well, but he is physically right, he is mentally right and he is clear of injury, so everything is right for Luke Shaw. Because he is an amazing talent, he is a brilliant talent. Physically he is good, he has got a good height about him and maybe that is deceiving people and people don’t realise at home that he is actually very good in the air, he has got a good leap about him. He can play as a left-sided centre-back and he did that for the last few minutes of the game.
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“It is a little bit like John Stones. Both of them are having the best periods of their careers, but they have got to do it for season in and season out, for three seasons, for us to really trust that this is the breakthrough, when they go from potential and letting you down a little bit, to potential and here we go: they are now recognising what they are, as brilliant players over a period of two or three seasons.”
Congratulations to Luke on another fantastic performance.