Luke Shaw.

Shaw display shows value of competition

Saturday 23 July 2022 11:29

Luke Shaw's powerhouse performance against Aston Villa shows the merits of having intense competition for places, according to former Red Ben Thornley.

The England left-back returned to the starting line-up against Aston Villa and made a fine start in Perth, capped by supplying the assist for the opening goal by Jadon Sancho.

Latching onto Marcus Rashford's perfectly timed pass, the overlapping defender picked out Sancho at the back post, who volleyed in an under-rated finish.

Sancho volleys home against Villa Video

Sancho volleys home against Villa

See how in-form Jadon Sancho opened the scoring against Villa in Perth, Australia...

Shaw certainly put himself about in testing conditions on a tacky pitch at the Optus Stadium, making one excellent, strong, but fair, challenge on Villa striker Danny Ings.

With Tyrell Malacia signed from Feyenoord to compete for the spot in the team, along with Alex Telles, Thornley told MUTV that it will help bring the best out of Luke, who will hope to feature in the World Cup later this year for his country.

"It's definitely healthy for the squad," explained Thornley, during our live match commentary. "You need to have competition, especially at the level where Manchester United want to be playing at, and where we are trying to get to.

"You need good players in all positions as it helps to spur you on. You know, if you're underperforming, then there's a good chance you could be out of the team. He did it before, Luke Shaw, when Alex Telles came in, and is showing signs of it again at the moment.

"It was a really, really good overlap and a lovely ball to the back post. It's what he's become synonymous with and why, if he continues in this vein, he'll definitely be in the England squad for the World Cup."

It was the 12th United goal of Tour 2022 and a third for Sancho, with an own-goal by Matty Cash making it 2-0 before half-time. However, Villa hit back through Leon Bailey and Calum Chambers to draw 2-2, with Shaw, and all the outfield Reds, withdrawn during the second half.