Meulensteen says van Gaal doesn't rate Luke Shaw - what do the stats say?

The former Manchester United coach has questioned why Marcos Rojo was brought into the club after sanctioning the Shaw transfer.

Former Manchester United first team coach Rene Meulensteen has suggested that manager Louis van Gaal doesn't rate left-back Luke Shaw and is opting for Marcos Rojo instead.

Shaw was bought for a fee upwards of £30 million in the summer from Southampton but suffered a hamstring injury during United's tour of the United States in pre-season.

Van Gaal has since bought Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon - a player that can play both at full-back and centre-back, but has been playing at left-back in the past two games whilst Shaw has been available.

Meulensteen told TalkSport: "It’s a big surprise for me.

“He would have been informed by the club that they were putting this bid in for Shaw because he’s an up and coming player.

“He’s got a good left foot and a lot of pace. He’s got a lot to learn to get to a Man United level though.

“He’s a great prospect but he’s brought Rojo in, which is bad news for Shaw.”

So far Rojo has played just the two games this season, but let's compare his averages to Shaw's at Southampton last season.

Marcos Rojo, Manchester United 2014/15:

  TeamPosPercentage of dribbles wonTackles won percentageDispossessed per gameEffective Clearances per gameDuels Won per gameAppsMins
Marcos Rojo Man Utd DF 0.00 40.00 1.00 4.50 7.00 2 180

Luke Shaw, Southampton 2013/14:

  TeamPosPercentage of dribbles wonTackles won percentageDispossessed per gameEffective Clearances per gamesDuels Won per gameAppsMins
Luke Shaw Southampton DF 50.45 84.72 1.31 3.49 6.63 35 2,992

It seems that Shaw was more willing to get forward for Southampton last season than Rojo has been for Manchester United during the early stages of their season. A worrying statistic for the Argentina international is that he is only winning 40% of his tackles so far this season, compared to Shaw's statistic of close to 85% last term.

The statistics that work in Rojo's favour are that he's been dispossessed on fewer occasions on average - but that could be down to Shaw's willingness to get forward on more occasions, but is clearly ahead on effective clearances - whilst on 'duels won' they're pretty evenly matched.

However, one explanation for Shaw being left on the bench is perhaps because van Gaal doesn't think he is fit enough to start games just yet after the hamstring injury - and the Dutch coach has also questioned the fitness of the teenager.

Some will suggest he needs games to improve that, but for now, Shaw will have to work hard in training and hope to win his place.

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