Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria are teaching Luke Shaw exactly what it takes to become a world-class player in Manchester United training, Gareth Southgate has revealed.
The England Under-21 manager benefitted from Shaw's talent this week as the left-back helped England to a 2-1 win in their European Championship play-off match over Croatia. And he believes Shaw has been taught a valuable lesson since sealing a switch to Old Trafford in the summer.
Southgate told The Mirror: "I think what [Shaw] now has is a recognition of what 'world class' looks like,
"He might have had an idea of what he thought it was before but training at Manchester United with the likes of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria has given him a full understanding of the concept now.
"He would have known there was a level but now he knows there is a level above that.
"He was able to share those stories among our lads in the Under-21s because all players at times in their careers think they are nearly there - and then you discover you still have a bit of a way to go.
"You continually have to strive to be better than you are and Luke realises that now."
Shaw arrived at Manchester United with a weight of expectation on his shoulders. The 19-year-old cost the club a reported £27 million and had just returned from the World Cup with England.
However, injury troubles and concerns over his overall fitness have slowed his progression under Louis van Gaal. The arrival of Marcos Rojo also led some to believe that he would be second-choice under the Dutchman.
Shaw finally made his debut against West Ham last month but then suffered a frustrating dead leg. His lack of action since the summer and the emergence of Kieran Gibbs saw him demoted to the Under-21 side over the international break.
Seeing Falcao and Di Maria arrive after him would have been a daunting sight and the pair are no doubt giving him a hard time in training. However, the be the best, you have to learn from the best and Southgate is right to say that Shaw has the best chance of reaching his massive potential at Manchester United.