Ashley Young has tipped his Manchester United teammate Luke Shaw become one of the best left-backs in the world.
However, Young, 32, added that such a status will come only through hard work amidst Shaw’s terrible spell under United boss Jose Mourinho.
“He is a fantastic player,” Young said. “I feel he can be one of the best in the world. You’ve just got to work hard. We’ve got a healthy competition in our squad and when you’ve got world-class players training day in, day out, everybody wants to be in that team. It is tough.
“I’ve always said, when you join a club like United it’s a tough place to play at. But if you play and train and give 100%, then get your opportunity — I’ve always said you always get your opportunity there.”
Young has also been Mourinho’s first-choice left-back for much of the season and was named in the England squad for their friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy, whereas Shaw wasn’t due to his lack of regular game-time under Mourinho.
It was a clear sign that he was not favoured that Shaw, 22, was taken off at half-time of United’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the manager also criticising Shaw after the quarter-final.
“We worked on certain kinds of movements,” the Portuguese said at after the game. “Where it was really important the two full-backs were aggressive, created space for Matic and were in front of the two central defenders. I didn’t have that.”
“I could have changed both of them at half-time. I didn’t change both because it was too aggressive to do it. I would only have one more change available to make in 90 minutes.”
“I had to change one and I chose Luke because at least Antonio defensively was capable of good positioning. Luke, in the first half, every time they came in his corridor, the cross came in and a dangerous situation was coming. I was not happy with his performance.”