MANCHESTER — Luke Shaw is playing like one of the best left-backs in the world, according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Shaw, 22, was criticised last season by Mourinho, who said the defender was “a long way behind” his teammates but he has now started United’s last five games, his best run in the team since August 2016.
But Mourinho, who has been linked with a move for Tottenham’s Danny Rose, says the England international is in such good form that there are few better in his position.
“He is playing very well,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday. “He was already improving and playing well when I start playing him after that long spell without minutes.
“I remember the first time, in the Champions League, he was coming step-by-step and now with a good run of matches and continuity also, playing like he did against Everton two days after a previous match, good, solid.
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“He is physically much better, mentally much stronger, tactically understanding the game much better and what we need in different phases and circumstances, I’m really happy.
“You like the transfer market, I can say that in this moment I don’t see many left-backs better than this Luke Shaw.”
Shaw faces a battle to keep his place against Burnley on Saturday with Ashley Young returning from a three-game suspension.
Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will both miss the game while Daley Blind has also been ruled out after picking up an injury in training.
The trip to Turf Moor is a chance for United to cut Manchester City’s lead at the top of the table to nine points with Pep Guardiola’s side hosting Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium in Saturday’s late kick-off.
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.