Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has revealed that he thinks the tactical influence of Louis van Gaal could allow to him adapt successfully to a more advanced role as a left-winger in the future.
Shaw is still searching for top form as a United player following a £27 million move to Old Trafford last summer, coping with the added pressure of becoming the most expensive teenage defender in world football on a £120,000-a-week contract.
The 19-year-old has barely had time to pause for breath in a topsy-turvy start to life as a United player with all the expectation that brings, but has revealed in a rare interview with The Guardian that he's sure the move and working with Van Gaal will only make him a better player in the long run.
Shaw keeps his eyes on the prize
England's second-youngest player ever to feature at a World Cup finals said: "It’s been a whirlwind, crazy. I didn’t really think of it like that, I sort of tend to focus on the football.
"It’s quite surreal how everything’s gone in the last six months – it was crazy. You don’t want to think too much of the past, you just want to focus on what’s coming up and the games coming thick and fast.
Future further forward?
When used by Van Gaal this season Shaw has been challenged with learning the role of an attacking left wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation, providing the kind of width and attacking endeavour that made him such a success at Southampton last season.
Clearly the adjustment has had a lasting impact on Shaw, who has openly courted the possibility of moving further up the pitch as his career continues to develop.
He said: "At Southampton we played with high full-backs, you could say that’s wing-back but not particularly, no. “I’m always learning, especially with the different formations it will help me in the long run to maybe become a forward player – on the wing or something.”
For now United fans would settle for Shaw nailing down the left-wing back spot with a string of consistent performances in the first-team, with the youngster now finally free from a string of injuries blighting his start to life at the Theatre of Dreams.
Shaw has started United's last two Premier League games though and will expect to keep his place in the team to face Queens Park Rangers tomorrow afternoon, with 2015 offering much for both the Red Devils and their full-back with a fierce price tag to be very excited about.