Man Utd boss Ten Hag reveals three reasons he picked Luke Shaw over Maguire, with Haaland and De Bruyne threat key

ERIK TEN HAG revealed why he picked Luke Shaw in central defence ahead of Harry Maguire against Manchester City.

Shaw, whose natural position is at left-back, featured at centre-back against Everton and City this month.

AFPErik ten Hag spoke very highly of Luke Shaw[/caption]

Shaw started at centre-back of Harry MaguireGetty

It was a bold but successful move by Ten Hag as United won both games and Shaw kept Premier League top scorer Erling Haaland quiet.

Ten Hag felt Shaw’s physicality, tactical astuteness and technical skills made him a good match to combat the threat of Haaland and his team-mate Kevin De Bruyne.

The Red Devils boss said of the selection: “It was a big decision but when you analyse the profile of Haaland and the combination with De Bruyne it was right because Luke has the physical power to compete, the tactical view to make the right decision and technical skills.

“It matched really well but in other games he can contribute even more in wide positions, it’s a tactical choice.

“We can see from game to game. We have more players in our squad who have capacity to be multi-functional and we can use that as a weapon.”

Ten Hag is a huge fan of Shaw and also praised his leadership and hard working attitude, describing the England star as a “top player”.

He also lauded Shaw’s mentality and hopes he rubs off on his team-mates.

Ten Hag added: “From the first day in training at pre-season he was working really hard and you can see when he has the right approach he’s a top player.

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“I don’t mean only as a team player; he’s a leader. He’s shown a lot of leadership capacities – he’s the example at this moment – and with his skills and his physical power he brings a lot.

“Now, also with his mentality. He’s an example of how to win big games. I’m really happy with his development. It’s been huge either at centre-half or left full-back. He’s a great player and a great personality for the dressing room.”

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