Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are a big topic of discussion at the moment. They are a talking point because their form has fluctuated this season. The pair were horrible in the 0-5 loss against Liverpool. Despite being much better in the match against Spurs, they were below average in the most recent league match against Man City. In the most recent Champions League game against Atlanta, Maguire was a liability while Luke Shaw was average. This article looks at whether their starting positions are under threat.
Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are capable of performing badly
They were both terrible against Liverpool. Maguire crashed into Shaw in the lead-up to Diogo Jota’s goal which made it 2-0. Salah scored a hattrick and and Shaw was all at sea. He played Maguire into trouble early on, and never got to grips with the game. Shaw was often dragged out of position and has some work to do to rebuild his confidence. In the game against Atlanta Maguire was a liability as his ball distribution wasn’t good and Shaw could have put more crosses in for Ronaldo. In the most recent league game against Man City Luke Shaw could have done better for the 2nd goal as he allowed Silva to steal in. Harry Maguire was left in the mud a couple of times by City’s slickness. Some would put their performances in the last two games down to Varane coming off injured against Atlanta.
Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are capable of playing well
Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw played much better in the most recent league match against Spurs. Harry Maguire purposefully strode into Tottenham territory with Varane and Lindelof holding the fort. Harry Kane did not have a sniff. Luke Shaw offered plenty of width during United’s spells of possession. If Varane wasn’t there then both would have struggled in the games they have done well in. The Euros is a perfect example of what they are capable of doing when they are at there best.
Lindelof and Telles are on the same level
Lindelof and Telles are not far off in terms of quality. Telles is effective when it comes to set-pieces. Of his 60 goals and assists, 43 have come directly from dead-ball situations. Telles’s offensive ability will give Manchester United the option of whipping balls into the box for Ronaldo and Cavani. Luke Shaw is good when it comes to delivery but, Alex Telles is on another level. Lindelof is a ball-playing central defender who marks the area rather than the attacker. He often jockeys the attacker and draws him to less dangerous areas before committing a tackle. L’Equipe were full of praise for the duo after they performed well in Manchester United’s 1-2 away win against PSG. Their performance against PSG is a reminder that Maguire and Shaw should look over their shoulders.
Maguire’s and Shaw’s price tag:
Maguire joined Manchester United as the most expensive centre-back. His price tag means that he has to start because the club doesn’t want to waste 80 million on a player who doesn’t start. If Maguire doesn’t start then, it will send out the wrong message. Luke Shaw’s situation is similar as he was the most expensive teenager when he signed from Southampton. Maguire and Shaw performed like their price tag in the Euros. Luke Shaw had three assists and got one goal in the Euros while Maguire was the heart of a defence that didn’t concede a goal from open play.
Maguire and Shaw should be starters. Maguire and Shaw have more good days than bad. In the most recent league match against Spurs, they were better. While Lindelof and Telles are on the same level, Maguire and Shaw have chemistry as they play together for England. Varane being injured could be a huge factor in poor performances over the last two games.