TYRELL MALACIA believes the rivalry between himself and Luke Shaw for a spot in Manchester United’s starting XI is a healthy one.
Erik ten Hag signed the Netherlands international in the summer to further bolster United’s leaky defence.
Malacia was initially brought in as a back-up for Shaw but has seemingly displaced the England international as United’s first-choice left back.
And the task of keeping Shaw on the substitutes’ bench is one the 23-year-old is relishing.
He told United Review: “Yeah, of course, because we can keep each other sharp every day, so you have to step up your game every training, every game.
“If you are not, then the coach can make another decision and that’s good for the team.”
United legend Rio Ferdinand recently likened Malacia to former team-mate Patrice Evra, a comparison the Dutchman is flattered by.
He said: “It’s the first time hearing it because I don’t watch the media.
“So for me, it is the first time I’m hearing this but it’s a big compliment.
“I’m honoured to get this compliment from him, yeah.”
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Ten Hag expects Malacia to contribute defensively and offensively for the Red Devils for several years to come.
He said of the former Feyenoord man: “I think he’s the modern left-back or full-back.
“He suits the profile [we were looking for] and most important from every full-back is that he closes the right area.
“He can also take part in the offensive side of our game, and he can do that really well. I think he will really contribute to the team.”
Malacia and his Manchester United team-mates will be back in action Thursday night, welcoming Real Sociedad to Old Trafford for their opening Europa League Group E match.