Replacing Luke Shaw: Who are Manchester United’s choices?

by Sid Choudhary

Manchester United have the tough task of replacing Luke Shaw for the remainder of the season, following the full-backs horrific broken leg against PSV Eindhoven.

Shaw had began the year superbly, starting all of Man United’s games thus far. However, Louis van Gaal will now have to rejig a back four that has looked relatively solid this campaign.

There are many suitors to Shaw’s role. The likes of Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo have played at left-back on many occasions for van Gaal.

They are both proven in the position and could easily slot in during Shaw’s absence. Ashley Young has also played at full-back for the manager and therefore could emerge as a potential candidate, whereas Jesse Lingard started van Gaal’s first game in charge in a wing-back position.

Blind was van Gaal’s first choice left-back last season. The Dutchman had a long run of games in the position, including during United’s impressive run when they beat both Liverpool and Manchester City. He is definitely familiar with the role but will the manager want to break up his partnership with Chris Smalling? The pair have started the season well and are beginning to show some serious promise.

Rojo seems the obvious choice for van Gaal to go with. The Argentine represents his country in that position but van Gaal decided to play him at centre-back when he placed Shaw on Tuesday.

Rather than a straight swap, Blind was moved to left-back and Rojo was partly to blame for PSV’s second goal. Left-back may be his best position. Lest we forget he started a World Cup final there?

Young has made the rare appearance in a full-back role for United. His good run of form last season started from left-back, as he was adventurous down the flank and helped push the Reds forward. His defensive abilities may not be up to scratch, however, and he is still an important option further up the field.

Lingard made just one appearance for United last season and that came in a wing-back capacity. The youngster was injured early on and didn’t play again but it is a sign that van Gaal views him as someone who can play deeper.

It will be a tough choice for the manager to make, given the options he has. The defence have shone this season, conceding just three goals in five Premier League games. It is now up to van Gaal to ensure he makes the right decision and United can continue their good defensive form in the league.

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