Football

‘Shaw is the best left-back in the Premier League’ – Irwin hails ‘top class’ Man Utd star

A former Old Trafford favourite has heaped praise upon the defender for his recent performances

Luke Shaw “is the best left-back in the league”, according to Dennis Irwin, who has described the Manchester United star as “top class”.

Shaw is currently enjoying his best season yet in a United shirt, having already featured in 25 games across all competitions.

Injuries had previously disrupted the England international’s progress at Old Trafford, but he is now a regular in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s line up, with his latest stellar display coming in a 9-0 rout of Southampton on Tuesday.

Shaw set up goals for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Edinson Cavani before being hauled off for a well-deserved rest at half-time, and will likely be back in the team when the Red Devils play host to Everton this weekend.

Alex Telles moved to Manchester from Porto in the summer transfer window to provide Solskjaer with another option of the right of the defence, but he hasn’t had much of a look in due to Shaw’s impressive recent form.

Irwin claims the Brazilian’s arrival forced the 25-year-old to raise his game, and he doesn’t feel there is anyone else in the top-flight matching his level of performances right now.

“Alex Telles coming in has probably pushed him and he’s been really top class in the last couple of months,” the former United full-back told the club’s official website before the Southampton victory.

“His overlapping is there to see, his defending is there to see. It’s good that he’s got competition. He had Brandon Williams last year, and raised his game, and he’s got Alex Telles this year and that has helped him to raise his game. Certainly, at the moment, as things stand, he is the best left-back in the league.

“There’s Ben Chilwell down at Chelsea. Obviously, they’re going through a tough time but he’s a really decent player. There are one or two others – Ryan Bertrand at Southampton has been doing well and I’m missing one or two more, maybe Andy Robertson. But Luke is playing really, really well and certainly the best he’s played for Manchester United.”

Irwin added on how Shaw has turned his United career around and how important it is for him to maintain his fitness levels in the coming months: “I mean he had a really bad injury and picked up injuries on the back of that, over the following couple of seasons, so it was hard for him to find that bit of rhythm.

“I think he needs a rest every now and again. With Brandon [Williams] last year and Alex this year being able to come in and, first of all, compete with him, then Ole has the luxury, I suppose, of having a couple of really good full-backs available.

“That’s great news with the amount of games we’ve got coming up over the next four months or so. You need a big squad as much as anything, so let’s hope Luke stays fit because he’s a vital part of our team.

“He offers pace, we know that, and we know he’s a good footballer and our best left-back when everything is going in well. He’s joining in the play, and his set-pieces are a plus as well.

“With Edinson Cavani in there, he can stick a few more crosses in because he is the ultimate centre-forward so I think that helps as well.

“He’s in the position, he’s got hold of the full-back position, you can’t say the no.3 shirt any more, and he’s got to remain there.

“He knows he has got to play well as Alex Telles will be after that position.”

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