Why Shaw came off at half-time in the Villa game

Sunday 11 February 2024 19:24

Manchester United fans were left wondering if Luke Shaw had suffered an injury setback when he did not emerge for the second half of Sunday's 2-1 win against Aston Villa.

The popular left-back, who returned to action in last month's Emirates FA Cup win over Newport County, made his fourth consecutive start as Erik ten Hag made only one enforced change to his line-up at Villa Park. Raphael Varane replaced Lisandro Martinez who, like Shaw, came back recently from a spell on the sidelines.

Martinez was substituted during last Sunday's 3-0 victory over West Ham United, after the Argentinian centre-back sustained an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee - a problem that is expected to rule him for eight weeks.
Luke Shaw warming up at Villa Park in the new Stone Roses-inspired pre-match top.

Shaw was replaced for the second half of a hard-fought Premier League game by Victor Lindelof. When asked to explain the substiution in his post-match interviews with MUTV and Sky Sports, Ten Hag revealed:

"It was a precaution. He mentioned some complaints and we can't take a risk, especially not with Luke Shaw, because he has had many injuries in the past.

"We took him off so that it did not become an injury. We have to see how it develops in the coming days."


The change meant United had two predominantly right-footed players at left-back, and left centre-back where Harry Maguire was deployed in a partnership with Raphael Varane.

The manager admitted: "It's not an advantage. Everyone knows my philosophy, to have Licha Martinez and Luke Shaw, two left-footed [defenders]. Also, we haven't had Tyrell Malacia available for the whole season.

"So all the way, all the time, we have to make compromises. And that is not in our advantage. But today we managed it and hopefully it's not too bad with Luke.”

Shaw has made 14 appearances this season, and 274 in total across his United career.