After dropping both Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire for the Red Devils’ 2-1 win over Liverpool on Monday, Erik ten Hag may name a third Manchester United player to the bench for Saturday’s trip to Southampton. The Dutchman was hailed for his decisions as his team improved and earned a much-needed three points, and he will be hoping for a similar effort against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
Luke Shaw joined Ronaldo and Maguire on the bench against Liverpool, while summer acquisition Tyrell Malacia started at left-back and impressed against Mohamed Salah despite the Egyptian’s second-half goal. Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell feels Shaw will not be reintroduced to the starting lineup against Southampton.
“He [Shaw] does [have the challenge to re-enter the team],” Campbell told Football Insider. “Malacia was outstanding in my opinion.” You must remember that the entire back four was virtually altered. Malacia possesses a lot of energy and a strong left foot.
“He did an excellent job with Salah.” He also took the initiative when he could. I believe he will be a very nice signing for what appears to be buttons now. He didn’t come cheap from Feyenoord. You don’t think he’ll come out of the side this weekend.”
Ten Hag revealed the adjustments he made for Monday’s game against Liverpool, in which Raphael Varane replaced Maguire in the middle of the defense. “We have Varane, as we all know, he’s a superb defender,” he remarked. He has won everything in his career up to this point. He still has [more] ahead of him, therefore I am quite pleased with him for this game.
“So we choose him. We did not select Harry because we also demand quickness and mobility in the back four. Lisandro Martinez is today’s couple, along with Varane. We play with [Diogo] Dalot and Malacia in the back four, who have pace and agility.”
Shaw played 90 minutes in United’s opening Premier League game of the season, a 2-1 loss to Brighton, was substituted at halftime in the 4-0 thrashing of Brentford and was an unused substitute in the win over Liverpool.
After Malacia’s outstanding performance against Liverpool, United legend Rio Ferdinand said that it will be difficult for Shaw to re-enter the lineup.
“Luke Shaw is going to have to do something to come back in this team now,” Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel, Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE. “At a period when confidence was low, he [Malacia] came in and was quite confident right away.” That’s difficult to do in a group like this.”