Manchester United legend Denis Irwin says he believes Luke Shaw has the potential to follow in the footsteps of other long serving left backs just like himself.
There have been concerns over Shaw’s fitness since his £30m move from Southampton a year ago and he made only 16 appearances in the Premier League last season but he has employed a fitness coach in order to make a better impression.
Irwin was recently voted RetroUnited.com reader’s best ever United left back and the legend insists that Shaw can be United’s first choice in that position for a long time to come.
‘We’ve had a really good tradition at the club, with left full backs in particular… Gary Neville was a solid right back for the best part of twelve or fourteen years… Patrice Evra was there for nine or ten years,’ Irwin told MailOnline.com. ‘I was there before that. Arthur Albiston was there for a long time going back to Tony Dunne so there’s a good tradition there.’
Irwin was keen to defend Shaw, who has had some criticism since arriving at Old Trafford.
‘I have no doubt that he (Luke Shaw) will be a top player for us,’ he said. ‘He’s only nineteen, he’s had a great couple of years with Southampton in the Premier League. He was involved with England in the World Cup. You forget he is only 19, a lot’s happened to him – Manchester United’s a big, big club and he’s not really had the flow of matches that would actually show how good a player he is. Until he gets that, a good run of games, we won’t see that but I have no doubt that he’ll be a fantastic full back for us for years to come.’
Shaw’s 2014 move made him the most expensive teenager in the world.