Harry Maguire has admitted he is as demanding a captain as they come when keeping tabs on Man Utd’s ‘flying’ full-backs.
The performances of Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have been a significant factor behind United’s title-chasing form this season.
Both players have been given licence to get forward to contribute to United’s attack – a feature most evident in their opening goal against Southampton last week.
Shaw’s pinpoint cross from the left was met by Wan-Bissaka, who was steaming in from the right to provide the finish.
And Maguire believes the improvements have really added to the pair’s all-round game.
“Obviously Luke and Aaron have been excellent of late,” Maguire told ManUtd.com. “They’ve really picked up their attacking game and started to fly forward and create chances which is really important for the team.
“We know how big an influence full-backs in the modern day have on the attacking side of the game, as well as the defensive side.”
The pair now have eight assists between them so far this campaign – three more than they recorded in the whole of last season.
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In doing so, Shaw has now put himself firmly back into contention for an England place this summer.
But while Maguire is encouraging the pair to bomb forward at will, he has also been sure to remind them of their defensive responsibilities.
“First and foremost they’re defenders for us and I’ve got to say they’ve been brilliant on that side of things,” Maguire continued.
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“They don’t get beaten one-v-one which is really important, they’re stopping crosses and they’ve been defending the back post really well.”
Maguire conceded he was “probably on Shaw all the way through games” to track back once each attack was over, but claimed his teammate’s fitness had gone “through the roof” with the constant leg work.
He added: “As a back four we’re working hard together. I have big demands on my full-backs, I expect them to fly forward but I also expect them to fly back as well.”