Tyrell Malacia says he has been driven by his healthy rivalry with fellow full-back Luke Shaw for a starting role at Manchester United.
The 23-year-old was initially brought in as a back-up for the England international, but after impressing in pre-season, he has been given the nod by Erik ten Hag in the Premier League.
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Malacia has repaid the faith with a string of fine appearances, meaning the onus is on Shaw to fight for his place back now that he has genuine competition for the role.
Such squad depth can only be a good thing for United, and the Dutch full-back insists he is relishing the healthy competition for one starting spot in the line-up.
“Yeah, of course, because we can keep each other sharp every day, so you have to step up your game every training, every game,” he told United Review. “If you are not, then the coach can make another decision and that’s good for the team.”
Malacia has already drawn comparisons with United favourite Patrice Evra since he joined the club, and he admits he is flattered by the comments.
He added: “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.”