Euro 2021: Luke Shaw is the Perfect man to Start in a Back 3

To Make England Euro 2021 23 Man Squad

skybet

LUKE SHAW @ 1/3

Luke Shaw's transformation has to be noticed

Luke Shaw has been arguably the best Premier League left-back this season with both his attacking and defensive contributions catching the eye. The Southampton academy graduate who made the move to Old Trafford back in 2014 finally looks to be fulfilling the potential that made United fork out a world record fee of £30m for the then 18-year-old and bar Bruno Fernandes, he’s arguably been Manchester United’s best this season.

It has not been all plain sailing for Shaw who has had his fair share of ups and downs since joining United with plenty of criticism and injuries constantly throwing curveballs at him. We take a look at how he is the perfect man to go to Euro 2021.

He's outperforming everyone

The Shaw of the Jose Mourinho era at Old Trafford looks like a thing of the past. After being accused of being overweight in uncertain terms by the former United the boss, the left-back has developed into one of the finest in the country, seemingly reaping the rewards of not only his hard work, but a manager in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that now believes in him.

This has easily been Shaw’s finest campaign to date in a United shirt, despite winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year in 2019. The added pressure of recent signing Alex Telles from Porto has seemingly taken the 25-year-old up a gear, and one that has given him competition to maintain a starting place.

This season, the Englishman has made 18 Premier League appearances for United, conceded 19 goals (six of which came in one game against Tottenham Hotspur), keeping five clean sheets and contributing five assists to his teammates - only Lucas Digne and Aaron Creswell have more from a defensive position this season.

His all-around game is noteworthy, but his defending has gone up a notch

Shaw's defensive improvement is there for all to see, which was solidified particularly in his two recent performances against Liverpool in both the Premier League and FA Cup meetings between the two sides. The Englishman showcased his ability to defend admirably against some of the best Premier League’s players with him putting in outstanding displays against the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in both meetings.

Performances which are of stark contrast to ones that saw Shaw widely mocked just a few seasons back. Quick and agile players always seemingly used to get the better of the left-back, but now the much-improved Shaw seems to relish these challenges and he is proving to be the best defensive left-back in the Premier League.

This all comes not long after the Englishman was playing in a back three at United under Jose Mourinho, with Ashley Young moved out to wing, whilst Shaw operated the left-sided centre-back role. Solskjaer also experimented with it briefly and on both occasions, Shaw emphasised his defensive brilliance, combining pace with tackling authority.

Whilst United don't play this formation any more, the club's number 23 has proven he can do it and with England likely lining up in just that way in the summer, Shaw could become the perfect asset for Gareth Southgate. Alongside likely Harry Maguire and John Stones, Shaw could slot in a centre-back alongside the two, with Kyle Walker's lack of minutes likely forcing his usual spot out of the window.

With the Three Lions lining up this way, Southgate has more defensive stability, more pace to cover the less mobile Maguire, and it then allows Ben Chilwell to potentially occupy the left wing back role.

Who is Shaw's competition to go to Euro 2021?

Whilst Shaw can go in as a member of the back three, it's still likely he will be chosen out of the left-back options, considering Eric Dier, Maguire, Stones are all a very low price with the bookies and expected to go, as opposed to the full-backs.

A year or so ago, Ben Chilwell would have been many peoples pick to start at left-back for England. But after some injury issues, the left-back’s start to life at Stamford Bridge has almost been reminiscent of Shaw’s at Old Trafford: very stop and start. Despite being currently injured, the former Leicester man has impressed when putting on the Chelsea shirt getting two goals and four assists in 17 Premier League games, and under Thomas Tuchel, he could propel further forward. Chilwell is expected to go and at 1/5, if he stays injury-free, he'll be on the plane, but it's tough to argue his case over Shaw right now.

Shaw’s other rival for an England shirt is Bukayo Saka. Despite a shaky debut against Wales, the young Arsenal man swiftly got used to his role as a left-wing back as part of Gareth Southgate’s defensive lineup. Saka, who can play in several positions was often seen linking up well with Jack Grealish down the left, striking up a good understanding and partnership. What could hinder Saka though in his bid to start on the left for England, is a lack of experience of both in the position and coming up against elite opposition. The 19-year-old is still learning his trade and has played most of his club career predominantly as a winger and he shouldn't be chosen ahead of Shaw, given how the United man is more defensively stable.

By Harry Charlwood

Latest Quizzes


⚽️ GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ⚽️
New customers only. First single & e/w bet only odds of 1/1 or greater. 3 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes are not included in returns. Free bets are only redeemable on football. Free bets are non-withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔸 BET £10 AND GET £30 IN FREE BETS! 🔸
New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
⚽️ BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! (MOBILE ONLY) ⚽️
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus
⚽️ UP TO £50 MONEY BACK AS CASH IF ANY OF YOUR FIRST 5X £10 FOOTBALL BETS LOSE ⚽️
Place 5x£10 Sportsbook bets on any market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs), and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion (Apple Pay excluded). T&Cs apply
Get Offer
🔷 GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £10 🔷
Full T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.
Claim Bonus
🟠 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 🟠
*New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
CLAIM HERE
🔴 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔴
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS ✅
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔹 GET £30 IN BONUSES WHEN YOU BET £5 🔹
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
✅ GET A FREE BET UP TO £35 + 10 FREE SPINS ✅
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus
BET £5 & GET £30 IN BONUSES
18+ New Customers opt in, bet £5 & get 2x £10 Free Bets for set events (odds 2.00+) + £10, Slots Bonus, selected games, 35x wagering to withdraw max £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card Payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🎉 BET £10 & GET £60 FREE BETS! 🎉
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 UP TO £40 MONEY BACK AS BONUSES + A £10 CASINO BONUS 🟢
18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. #Ad
Claim Bonus
🔵 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS + ACCA REWARDS OF YOUR CHOICE! 🔵
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
🔵 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔵
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
⚫️ GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! ⚫️
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus