Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has indicated that he wants more dedication and improvement on part of left-back Luke Shaw if he wishes to cement his place in the line-up.
The 22-year old rose to stardom three years ago after his brilliant performances for Southampton and England. He then moved to Old Trafford for £27 million, which made him the most expensive teenager in history. However, the defender has since made just 48 appearances for the Red Devils due to major form and injury issues.
Shaw returned to senior football following a 5-month injury-forced absence as a second-half substitute in United’s 4-1 win over Burton Albion on Wednesday, but he won’t be making a return to the Premier League against former club Southampton on Saturday, as Mourinho has insisted that the Englishman still needs to improve to make the cut.
Mourinho stated: “He has to work. Just that. You saw the game. You saw the same as I see. Are you asking if he plays (against Southampton)? No, he isn’t. He has to work. He has to improve.”
It was further reported that the Portuguese is closely monitoring the player, and is very cautious as to when the 22-year-old will make a return – a trait Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger also possess.
“Look, he doesn’t play for six months. I’m not expecting him to arrive on Wednesday and be man of the match or to be running up and down for 45 minutes. It’s a process. He doesn’t play for a long time,” Mourinho added.
“You have other players in the Premier League who are not starting matches and their managers just say they’re not in the best conditions. And we’re speaking about some of the best players in the league. I heard last week the Chelsea manager saying that. The Arsenal manager said that.
“The players are not in their ideas, they’re not in the best form after important injuries. Luke had surgery and a long time without playing. I cannot expect him to be back and strong, strong, strong in his work.”
The Portuguese has many options to fill up the left-back position, and has already rotated three of his players for the role, but he still believes that Shaw, once fully fit, will be a [prime contender for the spot.
Mourinho said: “I played Champions League with Ashley Young at right-back, not Valencia. I played Darmian in the last match, not Valencia. At left back we’ve played Blind, Young, Darmian, Shaw, and, in a few weeks, Rojo too hopefully. It depends on the moment, what I see in training and the opponent.”
Written by Sidharth Jindal
Sports fanatic with a passion for writing (predominantly football) and “Wants to live life to its fullest.” Writes about the Premier League on his personal blog.