Despite Shaw's brilliant form, Manchester United still needs a left back
Luke Shaw was stretchered off just a few minutes into the second half of England's opening UEFA Nations League fixture against Spain. It is yet another unfortunate injury worry for the 23-year-old Manchester United left-back. What makes this incident even more sobering is the sensational form Shaw has been in.
Fresh off winning Manchester United's Player of the Month, Shaw returned to national team duty to play the most brilliant of passes for his club teammate, Marcus Rashford, to give England the lead over 2010 World Champions Spain.
However, with only one specialized left back, can Manchester United continue to rely on a fit, Luke Shaw? The 33-year-old winger turned left-back, Ashley Young, as deputy or as the main man hardly sounds ideal if United are to realistically compete.
Since Shaw's arrival to Old Trafford almost 5 seasons ago he has never completed more than 16 Premier League games in a season. While all United fans are hoping he recovers and is healthy, is it sensible to expect him to burden the left back load alone? Is it time the Red Devils and Jose Mourinho consider more suitable cover/competition for the in-form Shaw?
Summer signing Diogo Dalot is capable of playing left back, but with Valencia also north of 30, Dalot seems to be United's right-sided solution to the same issue on the left.
Here is a look at 5 left-backs that could add to the overall depth of the Manchester United squad.
AC Milan's Ricardo Rodriguez can provide left sided cover but can equally create a genuine battle for the position. The Swiss international who is a former U17 World Champion has found himself in the midst of a Milan project that seems somewhat stalled. Rodriguez is also a set-piece specialist, a quality arguably lacking in the United set up.
The hype surrounding English wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon has dimmed in recent weeks after he lost his place in the Fulham starting line-up. A move to Manchester United will see the talented 18-year-old train amongst some of the biggest stars in the game daily. Sessegnon's attacking potential means he would be able to get game time in other areas of the pitch besides being simply cover for Shaw.
Kieran Tierney's star is getting brighter with each game. The defender born on the Isle of Man has already captained Scotland and Celtic before turning 21. The English Premier League would be an obvious step up from Scottish Premiership and he can take his time learning the league as United's alternative left wing back.
One player that would not need any time to adjust to the league is Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt. While Wilf Zaha rightfully gets all the attention for the Eagles, Van Aanholt is quietly having his own comeback. A once highly rated young left back at Chelsea, Van Aanholt might relish another crack at a top-six club.
Ludwig Augustinsson is a long life Manchester United fan who once called English players overrated just before Sweden beat England en route to being crowned U21 European Champions. Augustinsson has been a success wherever he has gone and is quickly becoming Werder Bremen's most prized possession. His addition might help accelerate the progression of Swedish compatriot Victor Lindelöf.