Football

Luke Shaw.

Luke Shaw names shock Chelsea star as his toughest opponent

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Luke Shaw has not quite hit the heights at Manchester United many expected of him after his hugely impressive formative years at Southampton.

The England international spent most of last season out of action after suffering a horrific leg break during the Champions League group stage in September 2015.

The severity of his injury kept him sidelined until April this year, and he has since struggled to regain his place in the United first team – especially following the arrival of Jose Mourinho.

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Shaw has been publicly criticised by his manager and faces an uphill task to prove his worth at Old Trafford or risk being moved on by the notoriously headstrong Portuguese.

The 21-year-old has certainly endured some tough times already in his young career, but when it comes to naming which opponent has caused him the most grief, his answer is rather a surprising one.

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“A lot of people rinse me for it, but Moses is the toughest opponent,” he told Tobiias.

“The power and strength he had… he was so direct and never gave me a second to breathe.

“I was pretty young, it was either my first or second season with Southampton. He was, now when I think back, my toughest game I’ve had.”

While Moses now operates as a right-wingback in a 3-4-3 system under Antonio Conte, the Nigerian played further up the pitch as a winger when he faced Shaw during his Southampton days.

The Nigerian – who has been loaned out to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham since arriving at Stamford Bridge four years ago – was widely expected to leave the club this summer.

However, a masterstroke from Conte has proved to not only save his Chelsea career but elevate his status to being one of the most important members of the starting XI.

Shaw’s comments about Moses’ combination of power and speed provide a good indication of why he has been such a success in his new role.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

The 25-year-old has license to roam forward from deep positions, giving him plenty of space to reach his top speed and run at defenders to create danger.

From a defensive perspective, his solid build gives him a big advantage over the average Premier League winger in terms of body strength.

It is amazing what a breakthrough season can do for a player, and it will be intriguing to see what his new position could mean for the remainder of his career.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
Premier League
Chelsea
Manchester United
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Eden Hazard

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