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Just what has happened to Luke Shaw at Manchester United

Tuesday 17th January 2017
Luke Shaw has been a Manchester United player for well over two years now, and it's fair to say the young man had a brilliant start to life under then manager Louis van Gaal. However, things have changed dramatically over the last twelve months – and not for the better.

Manchester United forked out a huge sum of money to sign Luke Shaw from Southampton as a teenager, and in his debut season, he showed us all just how capable of a player he could be for club and country.

In my opinion, it all changed in the September of 2015 when the man from Kingston upon Thames suffered that horrific double leg-break in a Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven. The Englishman was out of action for the rest of that season, and in fact, he never played for Louis van Gaal's Manchester United again.

As we all know, Jose Mourinho took charge in the summer and we expected a huge shake-up. That's exactly what happened, and although Luke Shaw did get his chances, the 21-year-old has not played for the Red Devils in months. Alright, he has been injured, but since his return to training, we haven't even seen him on the bench which is a huge worry.
Before he picked up this latest injury setback, it felt like the manager had frozen him out somewhat, after a poor string of performances from United's #23. The gaffer at Old Trafford has never been the forgiving type, but Luke Shaw is by far and away the most talented left-back on the books at the Theatre of Dreams right now.

Let's have a look at his competition, and trust me, this won't take long. Mourinho's first-choice in that area of the field right now is Matteo Darmian who is obviously a right-back by trade. To be fair to the Italian, he's done pretty well on the whole, and Jose loves a solid defender which is exactly what he offers. The other option is the intelligent Daley Blind, who has also done a decent job – but at a club of United's stature, you expect more than just ‘decent'.

As previously mentioned, Luke Shaw is by far and away the left-back with the most potential in the squad, and he could be so much better than both Darmian and Blind; but he will need time to grow and improve. A lack of match fitness will take a month or so to fully overcome, and for the foreseeable future, it's only natural for him to play things safe in those 50/50 tackles due to what has happened in the past.

My biggest concern for Shaw is that Jose Mourinho lives for the here and now, and I honestly don't see the left-back being given that luxury that is time. After the mistakes Shaw made in the game against Watford, the Portuguese boss has a doubt in his mind, and has even resorted to using Ashley Young in that spot instead of the former Southampton man.

Although I don't think Luke Shaw will leave Manchester United in this window, I wouldn't be wholly surprised if he is sold on during the summer. In my opinion, that would be a massive mistake, and I firmly believe that the talented left-back has until the end of this season to prove his worth or he'll be a goner.
Jordan Street

Jordan Street, 25-year old sports writer. Avid Manchester United fan and season ticket holder. Lover of the Premier League. Enjoys American sports. Tom Brady's biggest admirer, Kyrie Irving for MVP.

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