Erik ten Hag reveals why Luke Shaw has been used at centre-back

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has opened up on the decision to play Luke Shaw out of position as a makeshift centre-back recently.

The Red Devils have been without a number of their natural central defenders since the World Cup break. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire have both struggled with illness, Raphael Varane made his return on December 27 after reaching the final with France, and Lisandro Martinez has only just reconvened with the squad at Carrington.

With these issues in mind, Casemiro played at centre-back for United’s Carabao Cup win against Burnley, while Shaw has started there during Premier League victories against Nottingham Forest and Wolves.

Ten Hag was asked about United’s centre-back crisis ahead of their clash with Bournemouth, and explained why Shaw has been trusted to play there.

Erik ten Hag has put his faith in Luke Shaw

Erik ten Hag has put his faith in Luke Shaw / ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

“Of course, you have your ideas and a plan but sometimes it changes by circumstances like the illnesses for Harry and Victor,” he said.

“Normally, they start in the games we have just played, but then Casemiro did well as a centre half [against Burnley] and then Luke Shaw did very well against Nottingham Forest.

“Also, you look at the game plan, the way we had to approach Wolves, and I thought it was the best match with Rapha and Luke. Especially we knew the speed of Wolves from the right side and we could cover that because we wanted to attack over the left side with our offensive game from Tyrell Malacia.

“That was a good fit and also in possession you can have better angles with the left foot.”