Luke Shaw is playing at a supreme level right now. Something he has now been doing for numerous years. He deserves immense amounts of praise for that success.
Playing for Manchester United, the biggest club in the best league, doesn’t happen for everyone. It takes a special individual, both on and off the field, to live up to the pressure that comes with running out onto the Old Trafford turf.
Some wilt under that pressure. Others thrive from minute one. Luke Shaw falls somewhere in the middle of those two groups – through no fault of his own, I’d like to add.
Shaw’s start to life in Manchester was tumultuous from day one. Working with Jose Mourinho was never ideal, particularly as the pair didn’t see eye to eye. It was a similar story with Louis van Gaal and interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
You also have to factor in that horrific injury Shaw suffered away at PSV Eindhoven. It was a potential career ender. He’ll forever wear the scars as a reminder. To come back from that takes incredible mental fortitude.
Now, under Erik ten Hag, Shaw’s performances cannot go unnoticed. The Englishman’s consistent form his nothing short of sublime. Sure, he’s been spurred on by the arrival of Tyrell Malacia, who initially placed Shaw’s position in the team under threat. Though eventually, the Englishman rose to the challenge.
Shaw has never once moaned nor had this ‘woe is me’ attitude. Instead, he’s just worked harder and continued to improve. The 27-year-old is now in his peak years, displaying his powers for both club and country. He’s a true United and Ten Hag success story.
The Englishman is arguably the best left-back in the Premier League. I do not say that lightly, particularly with the likes of Andy Robertson, Nathan Ake and Oleksandr Zinchenko around. On both sides of the ball, Shaw has improved immensely. He’s so good when it comes to defensive positioning, while he can deliver a cross as well as anyone. He’s also taken up set-piece duties more recently.
Due to injuries, Shaw has filled in at centre-half on numerous occasions. Is it crazy to suggest he’s potentially even better in that position? Against Spurs last night, the Southampton youth product dropped a 10/10 in the first 45. Sadly, it will go unnoticed due to the final score.
His speed during some covering runs was immense, winning back possession for his side. Shaw didn’t look out of place aerially, while also being able to match Harry Kane’s strength. It truly was an elite performance from a man who continues to grow in confidence.
We often forget that these footballers are humans just like you and me away from the turf. Shaw is not only a high-class player, but also a high-class person. He’s talked about as one of the nicest guys within that dressing room, while his kindness to the workers in and around the AON Training Complex doesn’t go unnoticed.
We’re lucky to have Shaw at our club. He’s one of the good guys. I’m delighted to see how well things are going for him on a personal level.
Do you think Luke Shaw is one of the best players in the country right now? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.