Luke Shaw has endured a torrid time as a Manchester United player. Constantly plagued by injuries after his horrific leg break against PSV during their group stage game in the UEFA Champions League.
While his first season with the club was injury plagued, he seemed to be hitting top form before suffering a double fracture from the leg break; denting his confidence and belief. Mourinho’s arrival meant Luke had to convince the Portuguese of being worthy in the starting lineup after Jose openly criticized his lack of fitness. Much of last season saw him on the fringes of the manager’s plan, and injuries didn’t help his case either.
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While he has shown glimpses of the talent United paid so highly for, Jose has said that he’s still far from reaching his potential.
After giving Luke Shaw 25 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Everton, Mourinho went on record to motivate Shaw.
“He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him,” Mourinho said. “The communication was possible because we were very close. We need at this level the fantastic body he has to play football, the fantastic physical qualities and technical but he cannot play with my brain…”
Shaw himself came out to claim that his manager was right, that his attitude and commitment was questionable and believes he is working towards proving his critics wrong.
Fresh from a long injury layoff, the ball is in Luke’s court to ensure he swings the balance in his favour. The fact that Mourinho has not decided to openly pursue a Left Back sounds promising for him.
Seen as a marauding full back, Luke impressed during his time at Southampton as a member of Pochettino’s fledging squad. Gifted with pace and physical prowess, it was only a matter of time before the big guns came calling for his signature. When fit, Luke has the ability of running down the wings at blistering speed and delivering accurate crosses. While his ability is never in doubt, he needs to ensure he stays fit for being in contention. His competitors at Manchester United are Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind, both of whom are not natural left backs.
Will Luke Shaw earn the managers trust and turn it around next season? Only time will tell. But what we do know for sure is that for someone as talented as Luke Shaw, a place on the bench is not what he deserves.