Erik ten Hag gets encouraging update ahead of Everton trip

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag with his assistant.

REUTERS/David Klein

Erik ten Hag is set to head into the festive round of fixtures with a much stronger squad following the return of Luke Shaw, who could prove to be a huge upgrade on current options in more than one position.

The technically sound Englishman was a crucial cog in his side’s build-up play as well as a decisive figure in the final third last season and was expected to have a similar impact on both ends of the pitch this term as well. However, after the opening two Premier League games against Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur, Shaw found himself on the sidelines following a muscle injury.

After three months of absence, the England international has returned to United training and if all goes as per plan, the 28-year-old should play a part against Everton away from home this weekend.

With Tyrell Malacia out of action since the start of pre-season and Sergio Reguilon yet to find his feet at Old Trafford, the left-back spot has been the biggest area of concern for Ten Hag, who has been forced to use midfielder Sofyan Amrabat and right-back Diogo Dalot in that position.

As such, the return of Shaw, who’s one of the best left-backs in Europe, will provide a huge boost for the United manager.

Moreover, his ability to slot in as a left-sided centre-back could also prove to be very useful for Ten Hag, who’s very particular about using left-footed defenders in that position. With Lisandro Martinez also injured (Yes, the list goes on and on) that is another position that has been a cause of concern for Ten Hag.

The Argentine defender is currently in the early stages of his recovery from a foot injury and watched his teammates, including Shaw, train at Carrington following the international break.