April 21, 2021

Man Utd

News

Gary Neville claims Luke Shaw is the ‘best English left-back’ after stellar Manchester derby display

3 min read

Gary Neville has named Luke Shaw as the best English left-back in the Premier League after his stellar display helped Manchester United to a derby victory over local rivals City on Sunday. 

Shaw scored the Red Devils’ second goal in a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium and also kept a clean sheet to end a run of 21 consecutive wins for Pep Guardiola‘s side in all competitions. 

Former United full-back Neville hailed Shaw for his derby display but hinted that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be overusing the defender after he went to ground with injury late on during Sunday’s clash.

Gary Neville called Luke Shaw (right) 'the best left-back in the country' after his Manchester derby display on Sunday

Gary Neville called Luke Shaw (right) ‘the best left-back in the country’ after his Manchester derby display on Sunday

Shaw (right) scored United's second goal in a surprise 2-0 victory over rivals City on Sunday

Shaw (right) scored United’s second goal in a surprise 2-0 victory over rivals City on Sunday

When asked about Shaw, Neville told Sky Sports: ‘He’s been outstanding this season for United. A Luke Shaw (that is) fit, a Luke Shaw (that is) physically good, a Luke Shaw (that is) confident is the best left-back in the country, in my opinion.

‘But all those three things being combined at once has probably only happened at certain points in his career. And that’s been a problem for him. But certainly this is the best period he has had. 

‘We’ve seen him in the last week or two go down in a couple of games like he’s just on the edge a little bit. And that would worry me if I was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. I just think how they handle him in the next few weeks is important.’

Neville (above) praised Shaw for his defensive and physical capabilities so far this season

Neville (above) praised Shaw for his defensive and physical capabilities so far this season

Neville hinted that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be over-using Shaw and raised fitness concerns

Neville hinted that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be over-using Shaw and raised fitness concerns

Many feared for Shaw when United splashed out over £15million on former FC Porto left-back Alex Telles this summer but the Englishman has nailed down his spot as a first-choice option in recent weeks, starting all but one of United’s league games since December 20. 

Overall, the 25-year-old has played 32 times in all competitions and laid on six assists. Shaw’s positive displays have brought him back into the discussion of an England recall, with his last Three Lions appearance coming nearly three years ago. 

Neville claims England manager Gareth Southgate will now be back-tracking after seemingly ‘giving up’ on the left-back and believes Shaw is in line for an appearance at this summer’s European Championships. 

The former United man believes Shaw is in line for an England recall ahead of Euro 2020

The former United man believes Shaw is in line for an England recall ahead of Euro 2020

The former United man added: ‘Gareth Southgate will be watching him (Shaw) intently, thinking, “well I know Luke Shaw. I’ve seen him before”.

‘He had (almost given up on Luke Shaw before) and you can’t give up on him now. He’s staring right at him and he’s thinking, “well that is the best-performing left-back in the country at the moment in terms of English left-backs”. 

‘But he’s physically right, he’s mentally right and he’s clear of injury so everything’s right for Luke Shaw because he’s an amazing talent. A brilliant talent.’

Neville compared Shaw (right) to Man City's John Stones (left) who has also improved recently

Neville compared Shaw (right) to Man City’s John Stones (left) who has also improved recently

Neville also praised Shaw’s defensive capabilities and compared the left-back to Manchester City star John Stones, who is also enjoying a Premier League purple patch and could feature for England this summer in a similar role.

Talking about Shaw, Neville claimed: ‘Physically he’s good, he’s got a good height about him, maybe that’s deceiving people at home that he’s actually very good in the air, he’s got a good leap on him. 

‘He’s a bit like John Stones. Both of them have had the best periods in their career but they’ve got to do it season-in season-out for two or three seasons for us to start to really trust that this is the breakthrough.

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