How Shaw went from zero to hero for Man Utd and England

Stefan Bienkowski
‘I worry about these changes’ – Luke Shaw admits concerns about Super League

Few players are enjoying Euro 2020 as much as Manchester United left back Luke Shaw is for England.

Not only was the 25-year-old crucial in Gareth Southgate’s side overcoming Germany at Wembley with a second-half assist, but he also provided a further two on Saturday evening as England blew past Ukraine with a comfortable 4-0 win.

However, while England fans may be enjoying Shaw’s new lease of life, it’s probably fair to say that fans of the Old Trafford club have known all about the left-back’s turn in form for more than a year now.

Shaw has transformed as a player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and finally looks like the kind of attacking full-back Man Utd paid £33 million for in 2014. And the stats certainly back that up.

How much has Shaw improved over the last season?

Shaw has impressed fans and critics alike at Euro 2020 for his ability to get down the flank and whip in crosses for the likes of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. And that’s exactly what he was doing in the Premier League for Man Utd for much of the last season.

With five assists in the English top-flight last season, Shaw was sixth in the division among full-backs for his rate of assists for the Old Trafford side according to Football Critic, as he averaged 0.17 per 90 minutes.

That’s a significant increase on his average for the season before - which stood at zero - and in the 2018/19 season, which stood at 0.14 per 90.

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However, what’s perhaps even more impressive is the manner in which Shaw’s crossing has simply gone through the roof. In 2018/19 he was averaging 1.8 crosses per 90, which then rose marginally to 1.9 in 2019/20. However, last season that number jumped up to an incredible 6.4 crosses per 90 in the Premier League.

In fact, the only left-backs to provide more crosses per game than Shaw in the Premier League last season were Lucas Digne at Everton and Liverpool star Andy Robertson, which goes to show just how impressive Shaw has been for the Old Trafford side for the past 12 months.