The Englishman picked up an injury in April but even after recovering full fitness, his performances in training were seemingly not good enough to convince Jose Mourinho to restore him as United’s starting left-back, especially with Ashley Young’s stellar season at the position so far.
He’s apparently getting back into Mourinho’s good books, however, and he justified his starting place with a solid display in United’s 1-0 win.
Here’s an in-depth look at Shaw’s display against Bournemouth.
Goals – 0
Assists – 0
Shots – 0
Passing accuracy – 78%
Touches – 70
Tackles – 3
It was a more conservative performance from the United left-back than usual.
Whether he was instructed to do so or whether he decided to prove that he’s as good defensively as he is in attack, Shaw more often than not kept his shape in United’s back four, and apart from one moment where he was beaten in the penalty area, he looked solid enough to impress Mourinho.
In attack, he was his usual self, offering width with his lightning-quick runs down the left, and could have had an assist more than once as he whipped in a couple of excellent crosses that were inches away from being converted.
40th min, CHANCE: Trademark Luke Shaw as he ran onto a clever pass from Juan Mata before delivering a threatening cross. It was inches over the head of Romelu Lukaku and ultimately fell to Antonio Valencia, whose goalbound shot then hit Lukaku in an offside position.
63rd min, CHANCE: Another nearly moment for Shaw, who sent in a brilliantly whipped early cross that was just ahead of Lukaku. Shaw deserved an assist for the quality of the cross alone.
It was a performance that should build confidence for Shaw, who reportedly has decided yet again that he’d like to stay at United and fight for his place.
Young deserves to be the starting left-back at the moment based on his performances, but if Shaw can build on this display, he’ll soon be pushing his veteran compatriot for that berth.
He was composed on the ball and showed good awareness in defence, and while he was a little more subdued than usual in attack, his contribution on that side could have led to a goal more than once. Overall, this was a display that should have begun restoring Mourinho’s faith in the youngster.
The Gunners have taken just one point from their last two league games and make the short journey to West Ham on Wednesday night sitting 17 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
Lacazette, a reported £46.5million summer signing from Lyon, may be rested for the trip to the London Stadium as fellow France international Olivier Giroud is in line for his first league start of the campaign.
After moving from Ligue 1, Lacazette has eight goals for Arsenal despite having completed 90 minutes on just two occasions.
He has also conceded that title success in his first season in England now looks to be a pipe-dream but insists a return to the Champions League was always Arsenal’s main aim this year.
“It would be really complicated to win it at this point,” he said when asked about a potential tilt at the title.
“We would really need a miracle. City would need to lose a lot of their games and we know their record. But the goal in coming here was always to qualify for the Champions League and if we could get the title, fantastic.”
Lacazette is the latest in a long line of French footballers to ply their trade under compatriot Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
The 26-year-old had the best conversion rate of any player to score more than 20 goals last season across Europe’s top five leagues.
He revealed the lure of playing under Wenger was a major part of him joining Arsenal but said he does not want to follow in the footsteps of the club’s record goalscorer Thierry Henry and instead is aiming to walk his own path.
“It was really the meeting with the coach that made me want to come here, it was something I had thought about since I was little,” he said.
“I had spoken about it a lot for many years with (Arsenal midfielder) Francis Coquelin but it was really all about that meeting with the coach.
“I benefit from his experience on a daily basis, especially his past and how he has worked with various strikers.
“We are always chatting about small things I can do to make little improvements. It will be a really nice record for him too.”
Asked if Henry’s success at the club acted as inspiration, Lacazette added: “I guess, in terms of inspiration I do admire him but I wouldn’t want to copy him.
“Everyone has their own career, their own fate and everyone writes their own story.”
Every weekend we pick out one under-23 player from around Europe and analyse their performance to provide you with an in-depth scouting report.
Tackles – 3
Clearances – 2
Touches – 104
Passes – 98
Pass Accuracy – 98%
Playing in the middle of a three-man defence, Christensen had one of the more vital roles in the team. With Chelsea dominating possession and pressing high up the pitch, the Danish international had to shoulder a lot of responsibility.
He was often the starting point of the away side’s build-up play, using the ball well and spreading it on either side. Christensen was also the last man and had to guard against any counter-attack from Huddersfield. He showed great pace and reading of the game to do just that.
As a centre-back, he seems to be excellent in possession, playing the ball out from defence with unerring accuracy. In fact, he completed 98% of his passes on Tuesday night.
It speaks volumes that first, he was subbed off with ten minutes to play as Antonio Conte looks ahead to the weekend fixture and second, that Chelsea suddenly looked vulnerable in his absence and indeed conceded a late goal.
18th min CLEARANCE: Aaron Mooy whips in a dangerous corner-kick which Christensen does well to head away but it falls to Steve Mounie who can shoots well wide.
62nd min HEADER: A rare break into the Chelsea penalty area for Huddersfield as Tom Ince forces his way past a few players and shoots. His shot is saved by Thibaut Courtois and Christensen heads the rebound away just as it was falling into a dangerous area in the middle of the box.
Christensen only misplaced 2 passes tonight for Chelsea...— Uber Chelsea FC 🏆 (@UberCheIseaFC) December 12, 2017
98% passing accuracy.
He is also the only defender in the Premier League now who has an above average of 94% passing accuracy...
Simply class. 🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/KMqcDZKZiS
Calmness personified. Christensen may only be 21 but looked like he’s marshalled that Chelsea defence for over a decade. Never put a foot wrong and his reading of the game ensured he never had to do anything desperate. Should be the first name Conte jots down when lining up his defence every week.