Luke Shaw
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is backed to rule at left back for years to comeGetty

Manchester United greats Arthur Albiston and Denis Irwin believe Luke Shaw is perfectly equipped to become the club's long-term solution at left back.

Shaw joined United from Southampton in a deal worth close to £30m in the summer transfer window and, despite suffering two separate injuries in the first half of the season, has become recognised as the club's first choice.

After recovering from his most recent knock, an ankle ligament problem suffered in the 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in December, the 19-year-old has started in each of United's last three games.

Following Patrice Evra's departure from the club after eight years, all eyes have turned to Shaw to immediately fill the void left by the Frenchman.

But Albiston, who was a fixture on the left-hand side of United's defence during his 485 appearances for the club, has identified Shaw as a player who can grow into a similarly integral member of United's first team for years to come.

"He has got a great physique on him, he looks so smooth in the way he runs and he's comfortable on the ball when going forward," he told United Review. "He reminds me a little bit of Stuart Pearce because he will give you a kick when he needs to, so there is no problem there. He can play here for the next 10 years if he stays fit.

"I think in every game he has played, at least when he has been fit, he has looked more and more confident. Obviously, getting a move to a club of this size is a little bit different to playing at Southampton. You are always expected to play well here, win matches and then lift trophies as well."

Former Republic of Ireland international Irwin dominated the left-back role in a similar fashion and was one of Sir Alex Ferguson's most consistent players during his 12 years at Old Trafford.

And despite Shaw's early problems with his fitness, Irwin believes the teenager will progressively become accustomed to the demands of a player who is expected to play so many games in a season and flourish.

"You get to a certain age and you are very comfortable in what happens around you on a football field," Irwin said.

"You only get that through experience of playing games and going through the torture of making mistakes, so you get to a level in your mid-twenties when you have been in every situation before and you have learned how to deal with it.

"You can find consistency when you get older - it is very hard for young players to find it because they are still growing. Luke Shaw will be a top player for United, make no mistake."