Luke Shaw backed to succeed by former United defender Irwin

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New Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has been backed to succeed at the club by former Old Trafford legend Dennis Irwin.

Irwin - who was an unsung hero in United's treble-winning side of 1999 - is confident that Shaw will be a hit despite his large transfer fee.

Shaw signed for the club for an initial payment of £27million and could be United's only recognised left-back if Patrice Evra joins Juventus.


That sort of price means a heavy weight of expectation will be placed on young shoulders as Shaw only turned 19 a week ago.

But Irwin remains confident and he said: "He is going to be a fantastic signing for years to come.

"He showed he has great pace for England at the World Cup and in the warm-up games.

"He has always been great going forward, we have seen that in the Premier League."

Right choice

Irwin also has faith in a player who opted to come to Old Trafford and work under new manager Louis Van Gaal ahead of joining Chelsea.

"There was talk of Chelsea being in for him so I am delighted that he signed for United," Irwin, who played 529 times for United, said.

"He is a fantastic player, who will improve and get stronger."

World Cup experience

England manager Roy Hodgson was praised before the World Cup for taking the youngster ahead of Ashley Cole and Irwin insists it is easier for younger players to deal with the pressure of moving to a bigger club.

He said: "As a young lad, you don't feel the pressure as much as older players.

"Market forces dictate what you have to pay for players. But he has been playing in the Premier League for the last two years with Southampton.

"He is still only young. He will make mistakes defensively. We have to accept that, but he is a fantastic player."

Irwin was United's first-choice left back for nearly 12 years under Sir Alex Ferguson and the praise for Shaw seemingly could not have come from a better person.

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Manchester United
Luke Shaw
Premier League

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