At the start of this season, Memphis and Shaw’s partnership looked like it was going to be one of our strongest assets this season but a cruel injury to Shaw against PSV Eindhoven in September has seen him sidelined since.
In his absence a whole lost of players including Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson have played at left-back but none have been able to fully replace what Shaw brought to the team.
When asked what impact injuries, like Luke Shaw‘s, has on the team and whether it makes his job harder as an individual, Memphis discussed the difficulties behind replacing Shaw on the left hand side.
Speaking at UnderArmour’s launch event for their Rule Yourself campaign, Memphis said: “It depends. You have to work together, for example on the left hand side of the pitch. So when Luke got injured, you had a new player come in and he had to do the job.
“You have to communicate defensively and in attack with him instead. It’s all about that communication between each other.
“If you have a real connection with each other then it is obviously easier to work together.”
It’s clear as day how much Shaw’s absence has affected Memphis because his performances have never quite been at the same level following the injury.
Ever since he’s been absent, Memphis lost a spark on the left which is yet to come back and I’m not sure it will until Shaw returns because you could see how quickly they had grown a connection together.
As fans it is sometimes hard to think like a player but you can’t underestimate the importance of personal partnerships in football because they truly can make all the difference.
Memphis will be hoping Shaw can come back stronger and better as soon as possible for that reason and so will fans because that partnership on the left has phenomenal potential.
Memphis Depay was speaking at the launch of #RuleYourself, the 24/7 training campaign on ‘what you do in the dark that will put you in the light’. For more information, follow @UnderArmourUK.