Romelu Lukaku had a hunch during the World Cup that one of his Manchester United colleagues was in for a brilliant personal campaign.
While the Belgian was in Russia for the tournament he kept getting messages from Luke Shaw in the United States. The content of those messages convinced Lukaku that the defender was ready to storm back to form.
Shaw was voted United’s Man of the Match against Liverpool but Romelu believes the Reds’ left-back is worthy of an even higher personal honour.
“Luke Shaw has been the best player of the season for me,” Lukaku told reporters after Sunday’s match.
“He has been brilliant since the start. Throughout the summer we kept in touch and I remember when he was in New York he was sending me videos of him running on the treadmill.
“I was in Russia for the World Cup and I got these videos and I saw someone who was going to come back and be good.
“He scored in the first game of the season against Leicester City and he has never looked back.
“He has always had the potential of being one of the best left-backs in the world, from the time when I used to play against him when he was at Southampton to now.
“He has had his injuries but he’s playing regularly now and I am really happy for him. I hope he is going to keep on delivering.
“You cannot look at Luke as a prospect now, at his age he is a top player and is consistent. What more do you want from him?”
However, Shaw himself reckons there is more to come, even though he completely outmanoeuvred and nullified the Premier League’s joint top scorer Mo Salah, who has 17 goals to his name this season for Liverpool. The Egyptian was so outplayed and kept quiet that Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp eventually substituted him in the 79th minute of Sunday’s 0-0 Old Trafford draw.