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117 Touches: ‘Great footballer’ Manchester United star proves a point Erik ten Hag will love

A lack of options due to fitness and illness saw Shaw asked to fill in, and he delighted Erik ten Hag with his displays.

It would not have been a surprise to see him picked again at the position last night. Instead Ten Hag moved him back to his preferred position at left-back, and it paid off.

Shaw was sensational, leaving Ten Hag surely in no doubt that as good as he is at centre-back; left-back is still his best position.

Luke Shaw’s rampant display down Manchester United’s left-side

Shaw scored Manchester United’s second goal of the game, a truly outstanding team goal which he had a part in creating.

It was Shaw’s pass out of his own half which set the attack on it’s way, and within seconds, he was getting on the end of a swift counter attack and perfect pass from Alejandro Garnacho, to sweep the ball into the back of the net.

Shaw had a key part in United’s third goal too, playing the diagonal pass to pick out Bruno Fernandes, who set up Marcus Rashford.

It was a delight to watch Shaw in action, and a timely reminder that he is (a) best at left-back and (b) United’s best left-back.

That’s with respect to Tyrell Malacia, who has been perfectly competent in the last three games at left-back, keeping clean sheets in all of them.

But it is accurate to say that Shaw is simply a more dynamic and polished player when on form, able to offer more in attack.

Erik ten Hag will have loved his display, reminded by Shaw that left-back is his best role. While nice to have him as a centre-back emergency option, he doesn’t have to over-think it.

Luke Shaw statistics v Bournemouth

Luke Shaw led the team with 117 touches, more than any player on the pitch at Old Trafford last night.

He completed 87 per cent of his passes, 83 of 95 attempted, and created two goalscoring chances, playing 10 passes into the final third.

Shaw made three defensive clearances and had 12 ball recoveries, winning three duels.

It is great to see Shaw playing like this. His strike was his first goal at Old Trafford since August 2018. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait a similar span for another.

Ten Hag praise for Shaw

Speaking to the club website after the game, Erik ten Hag said: “He’s a great footballer, an outstanding player and in very good form.

“I hope he can keep doing it because he is getting some rewards.

“He told me after the game that he was [feeling a bit ill] but that he wants to contribute and keep involved.”

 

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