Why Ten Hag won't ditch 'poor, poor' Shaw

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 25 Mar 2023 15:29 GMT
  • 4 min read
Luke Shaw and Erik ten Hag.

Luke Shaw was slammed by Carlton Palmer recently, but he is one of the last players Erik ten Hag will drop at Manchester United.

Shaw was sent off as England beat Italy 2-1 in Euro 2024 qualifying on Thursday, picking up a second yellow card late on for a bad challenge having been booked for time-wating just minutes earlier.

There were plenty of positives for Gareth Southgate to take from the game in Naples - a first victory over the Italians on their turf in 62 years, Harry Kane becoming the nation's all-time top goalscorer - but Shaw wasn't one of them for Palmer.

READ: 'Ten Hag has no alternatives' - Man Utd should dump 'poor, poor' starter

Palmer: Man Utd need new left-back

"I don't know how Shaw gets away with it, I really don't," the former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, capped 18 times by his country, blasted on talkSPORT.

"Ten Hag hasn't got any other alternatives at the moment. I think next season when [Man Utd] will be genuinely going to have a tilt at the title, I think they'll have brought in another left-back."

But Palmer is overlooking one or more things with his appraisal. United did indeed bring in another left-back last summer, beating Lyon to the signing of Tyrell Malacia by paying Feyenoord €15 million for his services.

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And the Dutchman could only watch on as Shaw made the left-back spot his own earlier this season, starting 10 Premier League games to Shaw's 21. Shaw has even impressed at centre-back in recent weeks, starting there over club captain Harry Maguire.

According to SciSports - FootballTransfers' official data partner - Malacia and Maguire are two players who should be a statistical fit for Ten Hag's playing style, a pair who perhaps deserve more minutes. That Shaw has kept both out speaks volumes.

United will also have bigger fish to fry in the summer transfer market. Wout Weghorst hasn't filled Cristiano Ronaldo's boots while 27-goal top scorer Marcus Rashford does his best work from the left flank.

A No.9 is a priority, and Kane, Victor Osimhen and Randal Kolo Muani are among those on the Red Devils' shortlist. If it ends up being Kane, he will surely forgive Shaw's mistake in Italy on being reunited at Old Trafford.

Indeed, he will be glad to have such a quality defender as a teammate.