The Manchester United fans in the Transfer Tavern were absolutely delighted by their side’s opening to the New Year on Monday evening.
Following a painfully average run of three draws in the Premier League, Manchester United finally got back to winning ways with a well-rounded display at Goodison Park on the first day of 2017. As you would expect from one of Sam Allardyce’s teams, Everton were well organised in their defensive shape and United were restricted to shots from outside the box for the majority of proceedings, but that certainly did not stop the Red Devils from finding a breakthrough.
Anthony Martial opened the scoring with a delightfully placed finish into the top-right hand corner in the 57th minute, before Jesse Lingard rounded off a mazey run in Everton’s final-third by arrowing a delightful finish into the same corner to ensure United would take the three-points back to Manchester.
Jose Mourinho once again opted to start with a resurgent Luke Shaw at left-back for the third match in a row – a sign which suggests he has finally proven his fitness to United’s demanding manager.
Manchester City’s success this season after splashing the cash on full-backs may suggest that United’s interest is well-placed, but Shaw’s improvement in recent weeks should convince Mourinho that the club’s money would be better spent elsewhere.
Due to an unfortunate series of injuries and consequent struggle for fitness, Shaw has failed to live up to his potential at Manchester United so far, but given the right opportunities, there is no doubt that he could become a huge success in the Premier League.
With Pep Guardiola improving players left, right and centre over at the Etihad, Mourinho needs to focus on coaching Shaw to the levels many expected of him.
Spending in excess of £50 million on a full-back seems like an inadvisable knee-jerk decision at this stage in the season – especially considering the title already looks to belong to Manchester City – so Mourinho should invest his faith in Shaw and hand him the opportunity to prove himself at Old Trafford for the remainder of the season.
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