Luke Shaw is the fastest player at Manchester United this season – according to data from their first four games in the English Premier League.
Forget £31million signing Memphis Depay or notoriously quick and powerful runners Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia, it’s the former Southampton full-back who is the fastest at Old Trafford.
Shaw has made an impressive start to his second season at United – greatly improving on the first campaign after his £30million move from St Mary’s to the English giants.
He was labelled unfit at the start of last season by new United boss Louis Van Gaal and played second fiddle to Daley Blind for parts of the term.
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But the England international looks back to his best form now, completing all four Premier League games so far as well as both Champions League play-off legs which saw United beat Club Brugge to make the group stages.
Over those four league games, Shaw has made 186 sprints and been recorded at a top speed of 34.13km/h – beating the 33.78km/h of Depay, 33.54km/h of Rooney and the 33.1km/h set by Chris Smalling.
It’s a promising start to the season from Shaw, who will have his sights set firmly on establishing himself at United and nailing down the left-back spot in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad.
Leighton Baines hasn’t played a single game at Everton yet as he recovers from an ankle injury and isn’t expected to be back in the fold for Roberto Martinez until November.
That means Shaw and Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs will fight it out for a place in the England team to face San Marino and Switzerland in the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Shaw’s impressive early season form probably comes as no surprise to van Gaal after he tipped the 20-year-old to have a breakout year now he was settled into life at United.
Ahead of the English Premier League season kicking off, LVG said:
Luke Shaw is a big talent. He’s very young so it’s not so easy for him to come from Southampton to as big a club as Manchester United.
I think that it shall be the season of Luke Shaw, that I believe. I believe in him and he has to feel that and I hope he shall show it. But he’s 20 years old. How many players of that age are playing in the Premier League?
And he looks to have got that spot on – with Shaw setting the pace for a season which United hope leads to Premier League and Champions League success.
Speed data courtesy of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Official Player Rating Index of the Barclays Premier League.