Romelu Lukaku has given his two cents on Manchester United’s Player of the Season so far, hailing Luke Shaw after his exceptional performance against Liverpool.
Shaw produced a stellar showing in the latest instalment of the North West Derby, keeping the league’s joint-top scorer Mohamed Salah extremely quiet, until his eventual substitution in the closing stages.
How good has Shaw been this season? Five key things to know…
- Shaw has featured 29 times across all competitions this season – his best return in a United shirt.
- The England international netted his first United goal during the opening match of the season against Leicester City.
- His early season form saw him a pen a new five-year deal at Old Trafford in October.
- Overlooked for the World Cup, Lukaku has revealed Shaw was sending him videos of his relentless training regime during the summer.
- As such, the Belgian has stated he knew Shaw would come back and excel this campaign.
Jurgen Klopp made the tactical decision to take Salah off for Divock Origi in the 79th minute after the Egyptian ace failed to get the better of Shaw, who put in a man-of-the-match display.
After suffering a double leg fracture in 2015, Shaw’s future was in serious jeopardy, but the 23-year-old has come on age this term, garnering plenty of attention and admiring glances.
One of those has come in the form of team-mate and star striker Lukaku, who has tipped the left-back to clinch the club’s highly-coveted ‘Player of the Season’ award come the end of the season should he continue in his rich vein of form.
“Luke Shaw has been the best player of the season for me,” Lukaku told reporters after Sunday’s match.
“He has been brilliant since the start. Throughout the summer we kept in touch and I remember when he was in New York he was sending me videos of him running on the treadmill.
“I was in Russia for the World Cup and I got these videos and I saw someone who was going to come back and be good.
“He scored in the first game of the season against Leicester City and he has never looked back.
“He has always had the potential of being one of the best left-backs in the world, from the time when I used to play against him when he was at Southampton to now.”
Lukaku went on to explain how Shaw should now be considered a serious top-class player and not just a hot prospect.
“He has had his injuries but he’s playing regularly now and I am really happy for him. I hope he is going to keep on delivering.
“You cannot look at Luke as a prospect now, at his age he is a top player and is consistent. What more do you want from him?”
Such was Shaw’s ability to quash the threat of Salah that Klopp even highlighted the left-back as one of two players – alongside Victor Lindelof – who were vital to keeping his side at bay, stating: “Mo knows he can play better than he did today. Lindelof and Shaw together did a pretty good job.”
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“I’ve still got another level to come”
Despite his exceptional start to the season, Shaw believes there is still more to come from his game, admitting he was happy with his performance against Salah but still craving future improvement.
“I think I’ve still got another level to come. I don’t think I am really at my best and I know what I can do when I’m at my best,” he said.
”Of course I am happy with how it went against Liverpool but there’s still more to come from me especially and that’s me being honest.
”I feel I can do more but the only thing I need to focus on is myself, keeping myself in the right condition and keep pushing myself every day and trying to become what I want to be.
“There are a few things in my mind that I know I can do, but I need to do more of it. But that’s something for me and I need to do that myself.”