Luke Shaw – LCB in a back four?

The signing of Maguire ushered new dawn at Manchester United, a step forward to solving the club’s defensive issues. Though being proficient in the air and exemplary leadership, he is not quick, hence needing a partner to compliment him. Over the past season, we have seen the struggle to find the right partner for Maguire; both Bailly and Lindelof have fallen short. The arrival of Cavani, Van de Beek, and Telles brought with them the beautiful attacking kind of football United fans have been craving legends like Scholes and Evra have been publicly complaining about the lack of bravery attacking during big games with Solskjaer opting for a safer 3-4-1-2 setup. With Telles and Shaw as the only left-footed defenders at the club, is it time to give Luke Shaw a try as a center back or drop Maguire and try a completely different structure at the back?

Is Luke Shaw the answer?

When United line up with three at the back, Luke Shaw has been deployed as a left-sided center-back. Let’s see how he compares to other center-backs in Presnel Kimpembe at PSG, Alessandro Bastoni; the young Italian has been described as brilliant and talented, having awareness and composure beyond his age, at Inter Milan, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof.

Int Tk Drb Clr Errors Aerial
Luke Shaw 1 1.4 0.6 2.1 1 1.3
P.Kimpembe 1.3 2.1 0.4 2 1 1.4
A.Bastoni 1.3 1.3   0.3 0 1.9
Bailly 1   0.3 1.8 1 2.0
Lindelof 0.7 0.8 0.1 3.5   2.7
Stats as per 2019/2020 season

Int- Interception

Tk- Tackles per game

Clr- clearances per game

Drl- Dribble past

Errors- Errors leading to shot

Aerial- Aerial duels won 


The above stats clearly show that Luke, on average, can partner with Maguire; his left sidedness coupled with his recovery pace will complement Maguire’s qualities and is worth giving him a shot question is, is Ole brave enough to bet on Shaw and play him consistently?

Author: Clinton Salmon

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