Erik ten Hag has explained that Luke Shaw's substitution at half-time in Manchester United's win over Aston Villa was 'precautionary'.
Shaw returned to action in late November following a muscle injury which saw him miss 16 games across a three-month period. Since then, the full-back has been slowly reintegrated into the Man Utd starting lineup and, once again, become a crucial player for Ten Hag's side.
The left-back had been impressing in Man Utd's clash with Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, playing a key role in a stout defensive showing in the first half of the game.
Shaw was, however, then substituted at half-time, being replaced by Victor Lindelof on the left side of the Man Utd back four. Said substitution led many fans to fear that the England international had suffered yet another injury setback.
Speaking to club press after the 2-1 win, Ten Hag confirmed that the substitution was made as a "precaution" after Shaw complained about a potential injury.
"It was a precaution. He mentioned some complaints and we can't take a risk, especially not with Luke Shaw, because he has had many injuries in the past," confirmed Ten Hag.
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"We took him off so that it did not become an injury. We have to see how it develops in the coming days."
Ten Hag also admitted his fears about the lack of left-footed options currently available to him in defence, with Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia also out of action currently with injuries.
"Everyone knows my philosophy, to have Licha Martinez and Luke Shaw, two left-footed [defenders]. Also, we haven't had Tyrell Malacia available for the whole season," said Ten Hag.
"So all the way, all the time, we have to make compromises. And that is not in our advantage. But today we managed it and hopefully it's not too bad with Luke."