Why we should be talking about Luke Shaw's season
Luke Shaw was named Manchester United’s latest Player of the Month on Tuesday, beating his fellow March nominees Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku by earning 43 per cent of fans' votes in our Official App.
Here, a panel of two former Reds, a couple of club reporters and one respected national journalist react to the left-back's third individual award in 2018/19…
‘THE BEST FOOTBALL OF HIS CAREER’
United legend Paddy Crerand…
“He has been absolutely terrific and the lad, with each game, he has got more confident and fitter because of the fact he was out for that long period of time [after breaking his leg in September 2015]. He was always a top-class player. It was only a matter of him getting back to full fitness, which he has now. He will get back in the England team, no problem! I never saw him at Southampton, but I think he is playing the best football of his career now, at least since he came to Old Trafford. That is because he is now over the bad injury he had and he is playing all of the time. That is a big, big factor, because it keeps him as fit as anything. He is just a terrific player. He could play here for another 10 years, easily.”
'Luke's playing the best football of his career'Video
‘A POSSIBLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR’
Paul Hirst of The Times…
“His form has come on a lot this season. Even towards the end under Jose Mourinho, he was still playing well. But Ole has taken him on to another level! We saw the pass that he made for Rashford at the weekend and that is what Man United is all about. It was a really clever move that summed up what he can bring to this team when he is playing at his best. As well as that, his tackling was brilliant as well so he had a really solid month and he’s having a really solid season so far.
“He is playing the best football of his career. He’s had such a stop-start time at United. A lot of it wasn’t of his making – obviously the injury was a horrible situation, and it is really hard to come back from that. Certain managers took a liking to him and others turned off from him, so he’s had a tough five years, but now he’s got into his groove and is getting back to his best again. He is one of the top five players this season - him, Lindelof, Rashford, Pogba and De Gea are the top contenders for the Player of the Year award. He is a popular guy and he goes out of his way to always speak to us in the media, which we always appreciate. He engages with fans and that's why they warm to him as well.”
'A possible Player of the Year'Video
‘HE’S OUR MOST CONSISTENT PLAYER’
Former United striker Danny Webber…
“He is a deserving Player of the Month and probably sealed it with the pass he made for Rashford at the weekend. He has been playing really well and, for me, I am really happy for him. Because, in the last couple of years, he has had to rebuild himself from his leg break, to playing the sort of football he has been playing, to getting back in the England squad. It is a testament to the hard work that he put in over the summer last year, to get himself back in the mix.
“There is no better choice for Player of the Month. I also think he is in with a shout of winning both Player of the Year awards [fans' and players']. It has been normal for the past few years to look at David De Gea as the standout performer, and he has been immaculate as always, but there are a few more players this year, especially in the second half of the season, who you would look at and say they have a shout. Luke is definitely there. For me, he is probably our most consistent performer of the season.”
'Shaw's our most consistent player this season'Video
‘THIS IS THE REAL LUKE SHAW’
Club commentator Stewart Gardner…
“I am delighted for his success this season. I remember talking to him in pre-season, about the amount of training he had done and how this was the season for him. We know how difficult it has been for him in his United career, so I am so happy that it has gone so well for him and we are seeing the real Luke Shaw - the Luke Shaw who we signed in 2014 and were all so excited to see!
“He is only 23 and could be our left-back for another 10 years. He definitely is in with a shout of winning an end-of-season award, too. Obviously, the answer to every award is David De Gea, but it might not be this year. There are other candidates and if you are looking at outfielders then he is definitely there. He has been absolutely superb this season. Good luck to him. I hope he wins it.”
'We're seeing the real Luke Shaw'Video
‘LUKE IS THIS SEASON’S PLAYERS’ PLAYER’
Official App editor Mark Froggatt…
“Luke Shaw won our latest Player of the Month poll with 43 per cent of around 100,000 votes that were cast. That is a pretty whopping margin and it's his third award success this season. Now, I don't make many predictions - I get most of them wrong, I get called names and it's embarrassing - but on this occasion I am going to stick my neck out and say he will win one of our Player of the Year awards. I will go even further by saying it will be the Players' Player award. We will find out in May and if he doesn't win it, feel free to track me down and laugh. You have my permission.”
The opinions in this article are those of the named contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.