Luke Shaw did not add to his assist tally in Manchester United’s win over Newcastle, although it was not for lack of trying.

United’s star left-back managed to create five chances in total, more than any player on the pitch.

For extra context to this statistic, Newcastle’s entire team created a total of six chances.

Shaw has improved his ability from set pieces while also showing an extra drive to get forward and join the attack with purpose.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Best in the league

This season he now ranks inside the top five players in the Premier League for chances created.

He is averaging 2.1 key passes per league game, bettered only by Jack Grealish, Kevin de Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount.

United are the only club to have two players inside the top five.

Shaw notably is the league’s most creative defender. Joao Cancelo is next nearest with 1.8 per game, the 15th highest overall in the league.

 

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson both average 1.6 chances created per game.

Improvement

This is a substantial improvement from Shaw. Last season he was averaging 0.8 chances created per Premier League game.

Some of those games he played at centre-back, which contributed to the low figures, but the improvement is plain to see.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

This season Shaw has six assists, the third highest in the United squad behind only Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.

Against Newcastle, Shaw touched the ball 99 times, a figure bettered only by Nemanja Matic (120) and Harry Maguire (109).

Shaw is full of confidence right now and his willingness to get on the ball and try something is a key part. He is at the top of his game and proving to be a big asset to the club.

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