Jose Mourinho is no big fan of Luke Shaw. He has made only 22 Premier League appearances for United over the past two seasons. And in July, when he had a chance to leave the Red Devils and join Everton, he refused and said:
‘No, I will see out the remaining year on my contract and leave for free and battle for my place at Manchester United rather than move anywhere else.’
He also refused to sign a new deal with United, saying he wanted to prove that he deserves a new deal. He said:
‘I don’t think I would want to sign a contract right now. I want to prove to people that I deserve a contract. I don’t want one because maybe in the next year or so I’m a free agent, so maybe they might look to tie me down for that. I want to sign a contract because I deserve it and the club want me to sign one.’
Only a month ago, Luke Shaw was criticized for being fat and failing to live up to expectations. And now, the boss seems to be happy with his performances, making it to starting XI every match-day and has been the best player on field so far. He’s been a clean player this season with no cards to his name and has even scored a goal – his first in professional football.
Ashley Young’s not-so-good World Cup campaign has helped Luke Shaw win a place in the match-day squad. Contrary to this, Young was the first choice left-back despite his age and this helped him win a place in the World Cup squad for England. And now, with his performances for United, Shaw has won a place for the national team. Gareth Southgate has been pleased with the way the 23-year-old is showcasing his talent and feels he is playing with confidence.
However, more importantly, it now looks like he has won over the manager who deemed him unfit for the team and did not feature him much in the starting line-up. Mourinho, on Shaw’s England selection said:
‘He is physically stronger and mentally stronger. Tactically he has a better understanding of the game and I think to go to the national team after three Premier League matches is for him an extraordinary feeling.’
Jose was also seen praising him for the start he has got this season. He added:
‘He has played three very good matches and it is not easy to play three very good matches when your team loses two of them.’
The young left-back has been proving his critics wrong so far this season, and one can only hope he continues in his rich vein of form. If he does keep this up, he will be crucial to helping United get back to winning ways.