Luke Shaw will be fit to take part against Aston Villa for Manchester United this weekend, it has been confirmed.
The young full back joined the Red Devils for a fee of £30 million in the summer from Southampton but has had a difficult first campaign at Old Trafford.
He's been out of action since the 2-1 defeat against Arsenal in the FA Cup in February, but has been back in training this week. Louis van Gaal has confirmed that the 19-year-old is closing in on a return to action, and while he could feature against Villa, starting the game may be a step too far.
Striker Robin van Persie meanwhile is close to making a comeback having been out since the defeat against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, but isn't quite there yet.
"Robin is coming back on the [training] pitch and Luke Shaw has already had a week on there, but match rhythm is very important," Van Gaal said. "You cannot compare a player who has been out for four or five weeks to those that have sufficient match rhythm."
He continued: "We have a process for injured players in the medical department, they then go to a football coach for tests and then to me. Robin still isn't with the football coach. He's still not in my group. Luke Shaw is in my group, that's different, but van Persie isn't available."
The only man missing from Manchester United's squad for the game against Villa is defender Chris Smalling which, given that Jonny Evans is suspended, could cause some defensive problems for Van Gaal.
"There is only Smalling, who is ill. "He is still ill so I have to wait and see if he can train today [Friday] - it is very close to the game.
Manchester United are five points clear of Liverpool in fourth place, and with the Reds going up against Arsenal today could be crucial in the race for the Champions League.
They can't be complacent against Tim Sherwood's side however, who have found a semblance of form in recent weeks. A loss today would completely undo all of their good work over the past few weeks.
What is your prediction for Manchester United's game against Aston Villa?
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