Ex-England star loses it over ‘poor, poor defender’ as Ten Hag told to sign Man Utd replacement

Will Ford
Shaw England

Former England midfielder Carlton Palmer has a real problem with Luke Shaw, claiming he’s unfit, can’t defend, and is only playing for Manchester United because of a lack of options.

Shaw was sent off late on in England’s 2-1 win over Italy in the Euro 2024 qualifier on Thursday after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a good season in most people’s estimations, with Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag playing him predominantly in his favoured left-back position, but also to cover at centre-back when required.

But Palmer – who played 18 times for the Three Lions – is baffled as to how Shaw plays for United and England.

He told talkSPORT: “I don’t know how Shaw gets away with it, I really don’t.

“I think he’s a poor, poor defender. I think he’s had a decent season at United, but I think he’s a poor defender. Every time he comes up and has had the question asked about his defending, he can’t, he fails.

“How he doesn’t get sent off more often, I don’t know. I hear all the arguments about Trent Alexander-Arnold and I see that he has some defensive frailties but I think he’s a terrific player and offers a lot going forward.”

Host Jim White then pointed out the Erik ten Hag “swears by him” at Manchester United, but Palmer was having none of it.

“No, Ten Hag hasn’t got any other alternatives at the moment,” he responded.

“I think next season when they will be genuinely going to have a tilt at the title, I think they will have brought in another left-back.”

He added: “I look at him, I don’t think he looks fit. First and foremost, he’s in the United side or England side to defend, and I look at him whenever he’s asked to defend…

“I mean it would upset me to be honest with you. If I’m not playing well [like Harry] Maguire, but if he’s being picked ahead of me at centre-back, I’d have gone and knocked on the door and I’d have been away.

“Full stop. I’m not bothered about my contract. If you’re picking Shaw at centre-back ahead of me, I’m gone.”

READ MORE: Ranking England’s 20 red cards: From Mullery’s boot in the balls to Cherry losing teeth via Beckham, Rooney