The Red Devils boss has backed the England international to step up and fulfil his potential following a former club captain’s departure
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is “potentially one of the best left-backs in England”, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Shaw has been a regular in the United line up under Solskjaer, but he now finds his place under threat after the emergence of 19-year-old Brandon Williams.
Williams has featured in 16 matches across all competitions for the Red Devils this season, three more than Shaw, who has missed a large portion of the campaign through injury.
Questions have been asked over Shaw’s fitness and quality throughout his six-year spell at Old Trafford, but he is likely to be thrust back into the spotlight following Ashley Young’s move to Inter.
Shaw has just recovered from a hamstring injury and could make his return to the United squad for a trip to Liverpool on Sunday.
Solskjaer still has plenty of faith in the 24-year-old’s ability, as he told MUTV while discussing Young’s departure: “When this situation came up, and the options we’ve got at full-back – you’ve got Brandon Williams who has really come through and developed. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been fantastic.
“Luke Shaw is potentially one of the best left-backs in England, for me. Then we’ve got Diogo Dalot and Tim Fosu-Mensah, they’re both fit. You’ve got loads of full-backs.
“Ashley’s mindset was that he wanted to try a new adventure and he’s approaching 35 now. He’s done a fantastic job and he’s served this club fantastically.
“I think it was an opportunity for him that we had to say yes to. We got a transfer fee for someone who’s been so loyal to the club. Good luck.
“That’s what Manchester United do, you have players for a long time and then they move on and someone else steps in.”
United could be without top goalscorer Marcus Rashford when they take on Liverpool, after he suffered a back injury in their 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay victory over Wolves on Wednesday.
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Solskjaer will wait until the last minute before making a final decision on the striker’s fitness, however, given how much he wants to be involved in a huge fixture which could prove crucial in United’s pursuit of a top-four finish.
“We’ve got so many games to come. We’ll give him the time he needs to give him a chance for Liverpool because it’s a big game and Marcus wants to play in the big games. Let’s see,” Solskjaer added.
After their meeting with the Reds, United will turn their attention to a home clash against Burnley in midweek, before taking in an FA Cup fourth-round tie against either Tranmere Rovers or Watford on Sunday.