Luke Shaw’s role changed for Manchester United against PSG as he featured as part of a back three.
Shaw has played this position before at the start of the year, and did well. But this was the first time he has done so since lockdown.
Shaw did well, as previously, and showed that he is a big asset to United as part of a defensive trio.
His pace helps the backline and when he does push forward, there is enough cover for him.
With Alex Telles signing and likely displacing him from the left back spot, Shaw’s versatility will be needed in order for him to get game time.
Can United take it a step further?
United began the game with a 3-4-1-2 formation, and this was a smart way to accommodate Shaw and Telles, as we predicted might happen.
United won’t always play with this approach, and reverted to four at the back after Telles was substituted, with Shaw reverting to left-back.
4-2-3-1 is Solskjaer’s preferred formation and Telles has signed to be the club’s first choice left-back.
This means United might want to consider whether Luke Shaw can play as part of a defensive two, as opposed to in a three.
There is competition, with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Teden Mengi.
So Shaw may find it easier to fight with just Telles and Brandon Williams for a left-back spot.
Yet considering the impressive way Shaw has played in a back three, on multiple occasions now, this is a switch United may want to persist with.
Whether it be this season, or further into the future, Shaw is taking steps to carve himself out a role at centre-back.
The next step is to experiment with him as part of a defensive two, rather than in a three.
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