Harry Maguire has helped Luke Shaw come out of his shell – and claims he is showing the world what Manchester United knew all along.
Shaw is the talk of the town after assisting two goals in Saturday’s 4-0 rout of Ukraine and has earned himself a new nickname.
He’s been dubbed Roberto Shaw by his England team-mates after legendary attacking left back Roberto Carlos, who won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil.
It’s all a far cry from the days when Shaw was being publicly criticised by former United boss Jose Mourinho.
But Maguire too has been demanding more from his Old Trafford team-mate – and reckons Shaw is getting his just rewards for taking such criticism on board.
And with the pair forging a firm defensive partnership at the back for club and country, Maguire feels England are in safe hands.
He said: “I have a great relationship with Luke on and off the field. I do put a lot of demands on him.
“I don't accept him playing alongside me and playing safe and not getting forward because for Manchester United you've seen that he is a big attacking threat.
"When he's flying up and down and creating chances for us it gives us the best opportunity to win football matches and that's the most important thing.
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“I put a lot of demands on Luke. I really expect him to push himself because I know and see every day what he has got.
“I see his attributes and his ability and he has absolutely everything to be an amazing left-back. He is really showing that now.
“He has shown the Premier League all year what he brings to Manchester United and now he is showing the world.
“I am so pleased for him. I hope he keeps going, keeps improving and keeps pushing himself. And I am sure he will.”
As United captain, Maguire is used to shouting instructions and being a leader, and says Shaw gets it in the ear more than most when they’re both on England duty.
Maguire said: “Luke probably gets a little bit more of it than everybody else because he is stood alongside me for 90 minutes!
“If Luke is playing well, I am playing well because we are so close to each other and covering each other. It is the same with my other centre-half partners.
“It is working well at the moment for club and country. We have a good relationship and we can get better and we can improve – and we are striving to do that.”
Maguire was famously the subject of an internet meme that went viral at the last World Cup, when he was pictured chatting to fiancee Fern Hawkins.
He still gets ribbed about it now by his team-mates – but wants to be the subject of a much better one this time around ahead of tomorrow’s big clash with Denmark.
Maguire said: “I would prefer to be involved in being seen lifting the trophy! Memes are all part of the fun and what social media should be there for.
“Unfortunately I don't think that picture will happen again because of COVID and we don't get to speak to our families after games because we are in this bubble.
“But it was an iconic photo and brings back memories of Russia and what a journey it was.”
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