Lukaku: Shaw has been Man United’s player of the season


The Belgian says the defender’s hard work has paid off and his performances deserve recognition.

Luke Shaw has been Manchester United’s player of the season, according to teammate Romelu Lukaku.

The left-back set up Lukaku for the first goal in Wednesday’s 3-1 Premier League win at Crystal Palace with a driving run from deep, as United secured a club-record eighth away win in a row in all competitions.

It was the highlight of another impressive performance from Shaw, who has been consistently good under caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after some issues under former manager Jose Mourinho.

And Lukaku admits he expected the 23-year-old to enjoy something of a breakthrough season in 2018-19, having overcome some persistent injury problems.

“He’s our player of the season,” Lukaku said, as quoted by The Mirror. “From the start of the season until now, he’s been the most consistent.

“It’s due to his preparation. We were in touch the whole summer when I was in Russia [for the World Cup]. We have mutual friends. I used to get videos of him working out and stuff, and I knew this year would be his year.

“That’s what I told him at the end of last season, that he has the potential to be the England left-back for many, many years, and for Manchester United the same. It’s about being that guy.”

Shaw was criticised in public on more than one occasion by Mourinho, although he appeared to have won back the trust of the Portuguese during the final few months of his time in charge.

The former Southampton full-back scored his first goal for the Red Devils in their season opener against Leicester in August.

His impressive early displays then earned him a recall to the England squad for the Nations League meeting with Spain at Wembley in September.

The following month he signed a new contract keeping him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2023.

“The previous criticism didn’t hurt him,” Lukaku added. “People who don’t know Luke don’t know he’s ­mentally really tough. It’s a side that not a lot of people talk about, but it has to be known that mentally he’s a really strong guy.”


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