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Erik ten Hag boldly claims Man Utd star is best player in world in his position, despite one key flaw he will ‘never’ overcome

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has boldly insisted that one of his important first-team players is arguably the best player in the world in his position.

Erik ten Hag has endured a tough second season at Old Trafford and the Manchester United manager could be on the chopping block this summer.

The Dutchman oversaw United finish in eighth place in the Premier League table, with the Red Devils missing out on Champions League football for next season.

Ten Hag has seen his first team ravaged by injuries and several players have been sidelined over the course of the campaign, including Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire.

The 54-year-old United boss has also had to contend with other issues, including his rift with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford’s actions away from the pitch.

Despite the up-and-down campaign at Old Trafford, Ten Hag could still add another piece of major silverware to his trophy cabinet before the season is out.

United are scheduled to face Premier League champions Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday, with kick-off slated for 3pm UK time.

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Manager Erik ten Hag and Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United applaud the fans after the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion ...

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ten Hag’s praise for Man Utd star

Erik ten Hag failed to lift the FA Cup trophy in his debut season at Manchester United after the Red Devils lost 2-1 in the final at Wembley in 2023.

However, an FA Cup win this weekend might not be enough to keep the former Ajax boss at Old Trafford for the following campaign.

According to The Guardian on Friday, United are expected to sack Ten Hag irrespective of whether the Red Devils win or lose the FA Cup final.

Speaking ahead of the FA Cup final, Ten Hag hailed the ability of Luke Shaw and claimed the United left-back is the best in the world in his position.

Luke Shaw has been limited to only 15 appearances across all competitions this season due to injury, with the United star missing the club’s last 13 league matches.

Ten Hag has been without a regular left-back this season amid the injuries to Shaw and Tyrell Malacia, with Sergio Reguilon’s loan spelling ending back in January.

Fabrizio Romano on X, formerly known as Twitter, tweeted out Ten Hag’s conversation with Voetbal International about Shaw.

🚨 Erik ten Hag to @VI_nl: “Luke Shaw is the best left back in the world. But he has suffered a horrible injury at the start of his career and because of this he will NEVER be able to play 60 games per season”.

“Tyrell Malacia didn’t play a single minute of football this year”. pic.twitter.com/mzxy9WRLU6

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 25, 2024

Despite his praise for Shaw, Ten Hag also stressed that the 28-year-old England international would never be able to manage a ’60-match season’ due to injuries.

“Luke Shaw is the best left back in the world,” he said.

“But he has suffered a horrible injury at the start of his career and because of this he will [never] be able to play 60 games per season.

READ MORE: What Man Utd star Kobbie Mainoo did while recovering from injury speaks volumes about his elite mindset, he’s very mature

Ten Hag on Malacia’s struggles

Tyrell Malacia was brought to Old Trafford in 2022 after Ten Hag arrived from Ajax, with United paying an initial fee of £15m for the former Feyenoord defender.

The 24-year-old Dutch left-back was expected to provide cover for Shaw, but Malacia hasn’t featured once for United this season due to a long-term injury.

Ten Hag admitted that Malacia hasn’t had a single training session at United this season after he was ruled out of action with a knee injury in 2023.

“Tyrell Malacia didn’t play a single minute of football this season,” he said, as per The Daily Mail.

“In fact, he didn’t even spend a single moment out on the training pitch. We signed him as our back-up for Luke Shaw.”

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