Erik ten Hag’s strongest available Manchester United XI as Luke Shaw targets return

Man United manager Erik ten Hag is slowly getting his squad back together, particularly in defence.

The prospect of Luke Shaw being included in Manchester United’s matchday squad against Everton on Sunday afternoon is a massive confidence booster for everyone associated with the club.

One of United’s standout players last season, the left-back has been sidelined since late-August because of a muscle injury. His presence, both defensively and offensively, has been sorely missed, with the England international key to the overall balance of the team.

Shaw last appeared for United on August 19, starting their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. That was one of just two appearances that he has made so far this season.

The former Southampton defender’s muscle problem turned out to be a catalyst for a string of further defensive injuries. Manager Erik ten Haghas constantly had to chop and change his rearguard so far this season, losing the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof and Sergio Reguilon at various junctures, either through injury or illness.

 

Though Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia are still sidelined with long-term injuries, the situation is beginning to ease, supported by Shaw’s impending return. Should he be deemed fit enough to start Sunday’s contest at Goodison Park, all eyes will be on where Ten Hag chooses to deploy him, with the defender impressing at centre-back on several occasions last season.


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