Manchester United’s Cameron Borthwick-Jackson put himself in pole position to start the FA Cup final this weekend following an assured 90 minutes against Bournemouth on Tuesday.
It was the 19-year-old’s second start since the middle of February but he was both influential and composed in his performance at left-back. He had the second most touches of any Manchester United player with 104 behind just Wayne Rooney, who was playing in the centre of midfield. The left-back had a 92% success rate with his passing, with 55 of those 81 passes coming in the opposition’s half.
Anthony Martial attracts so much attention on the left-hand side for United that in order to free him up and cause opposing defenders to think twice about double-marking the French youngster, Louis van Gaal‘s side need a left-back capable of creating overlaps and one who is capable and confident of whipping in crosses and creating from the edge of the box.
Borthwick-Jackson does exactly that and does it with an ease that would suggest there is more to come from the defender who only broke into the side this season.
While the chants from fans inside Old Trafford suggest attacking is the most important thing on the agenda, Borthwick-Jackson does a good job of balancing his marauding runs down the left with keeping things safe closer to home. He made two clearances, two tackles, one interception, one block and won the ball back seven times during United’s 3-1 victory and final game of the Premier League season.
Luke Shaw is on the comeback trail and will, hopefully, claim United’s left-back role as his own for years to come. With Borthwick-Jackson in such fine form, however, Shaw can be eased back into action with United’s management safe in the knowledge that they have a player of high enough quality to fill in when necessary.