Even in the weeks before Luke Shaw’s hamstring injury in November, he was United’s best defender.
His man-of-the-match performance at Anfield summed up his progression this season: dominant and constantly harrying Mohamed Salah at one end – according to Graeme Souness, he handled the Egyptian better than any defender he’s seen – and creating more than any other United player at the other.
His passing accuracy in the opposition half (81 per cent) was highest in the Manchester United side, and he won more fouls and made more key passes than any of his team-mates.
Alex Telles’ arrival will have no doubt created much-needed competition, and Shaw looks to have reacted with a string of consistent performances.
To some, Shaw was the epitome of post-Fergie Manchester United – an expensive flop. But despite this being his seventh season at Old Trafford, he is barely at his peak at 25.
As we know, the modern full-back must attack and defend in equal measure. There is room for improvement in his delivery, but Shaw…