Erik ten Hag delighted with Luke Shaw after shining at centre-back for Manchester United

    Luke Shaw filled in at centre-back for Manchester United on Tuesday night (Picture: Getty Images)

    Erik ten Hag was thoroughly impressed with makeshift centre-back Luke Shaw on Tuesday night, believing that the England international looked like he had played there for years.

    With illness, injury and unavailability ravaging Ten Hag’s defensive options, he was forced to play a back four of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Shaw and Tyrell Malacia against Nottingham Forest.

    The unusual defence held firm and the Red Devils left Old Trafford with a 3-0 win, as Shaw did well away from his usual left-back position.

    While he is unlikely to stay there when Lisandro Martinez returns from World Cup celebrations and Harry Maguire is fully fit, Ten Hag was very impressed and is pleased to know that he can call on Shaw if needs be in the future.

    ‘He was really composed, really decisive there and determined to play that position. It was a really good performance,’ Ten Hag said.

    ‘Already last week he offered himself for me. He came in and said “look I can play centre-half against Burnley”.

    Manchester United v Burnley - Carabao Cup Fourth Round
    Erik ten Hag is delighted to have an unexpected extra option at centre-back (Picture: Getty Images)

    ‘We made the choice to have Casemiro in that job but you see him [Luke] playing a magnificent game [against Forest] and doing really well and it looks like he was playing as a centre-back for many, many years.

    ‘It is good to know that we have options there, and that is also what you need for the whole squad – have players who can play in more positions.’

    United have enjoyed the perfect return to action after the World Cup so far, beating Burnley 2-0 in the Carabao Cup and then Forest 3-0 in the Premier League.

    They go to Wolves on New Year’s Eve when they should have Martinez back and both Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot could be available again.

    MORE : Manchester United can still win the Premier League title this season, says Gabby Agbonlahor

    MORE : Bruno Fernandes appears to back Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag’s tough stance on Cristiano Ronaldo

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