Tyrell Malacia in the new Man Utd 2023/24 home kit

A big season for 'talented' Malacia

Friday 04 August 2023 10:44

Manchester United legend Jaap Stam believes Tyrell Malacia has the quality to be the perfect back-up to Luke Shaw.

The left-back missed Tour 2023 due to injury but is set for a big campaign at Old Trafford, his second since arriving from Feyenoord.

As he is set to turn 24 later this month, there is a feeling Malacia will be stronger for the experience of having a season under his belt in the Premier League and, with Shaw sometimes being used in the middle of defence, he is an excellent option for Erik ten Hag.

Stam, speaking exclusively to club media recently, was unequivocal in assessing his fellow countryman's qualities and feels he has learned a lot in terms of his style and approach to defending.

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"Well, you know, it's not easy for him because he's got Shaw in front of him," Stam told us. "Shaw, he's stepped up as well. He's been doing very well defensively and also playing, at times, as a centre-back, but also going forward as a left-back.

"And we like to see that in modern defenders nowadays, especially on the left, and on the right side, to attack as well. Tyrell did very well in Holland at Feyenoord, where he was before he joined United.

"He played a couple of very strong games at the beginning of the season but then he had a couple of very tough games. One of the games was, of course, against [Manchester] City away, you know, in that loss that they had.

"I think that made him think a little bit as well," added Stam. "In how to approach the opposition in a certain way. But he's a young guy and he's very, very talented. He's got pace. He's got quality on the ball. He can defend. 

"He needs to be aware of the situation a little bit more because he likes to, if you're talking about being aggressive, step in. He likes to gamble, at times, as well, and sometimes you need to be aggressive. You need to step in and sometimes you need to read the situation a little bit more which, I think, is very important for him as well to do.

"But I think he's a good man to have as a left-back behind Shaw. You know, when Shaw isn't able to play or when Ten Hag is using him in a different position, he can step in and can do that job without being a doubt for the manager to think about if he's producing or not."