Luke Shaw finally finding his feet under Jose Mourinho
Luke Shaw made his first Manchester United in two hundred and nineteen days against CSKA Moscow on 5th December in the Champions League and hasn't looked back since. Shaw has made 6 starts in 9 United games since and looks to have finally settled in Mourinho's side.
Ever since arriving at Manchester United following an excellent season at Southampton, Shaw has struggled at Old Trafford mainly due to injuries. There have been games where he has played well but never an extended run of games in which he has consistently played well. He has had issues with former as well as current Manchester United managers. There has been criticism about the Englishman's attitude, fitness and professionalism and has forever been linked to a move away from Old Trafford.
But, ever since returning from a leg injury in late August, we have seen a revitalised as well as a matured Luke Shaw.
Shaw made four appearances for the United reserves until finally making his first senior appearance in the 17/18 season against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup. The 22-year old then made another sporadic appearance at Swansea in the same competition. Shaw has grabbed the opportunities presented to him with both hands and delivered a man of the match performance against CSKA Moscow in the UCL and solid performances against Bournemouth, Burnley, Southampton and Everton in the Premier League and against Derby County in the FA Cup.
The former Saint is blessed with some tremendous pace and technical abilities. Shaw loves making overlapping runs to get involved in attacking play. Shaw can make electrifying runs from deep, dribbling past one or two or build attacks with quick passing or hit the byline to whip in crosses. He provides much-needed width on the left flank for United; provided Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial like to drift in. Even though he hasn't directly been involved in a goal this season yet, he averages more than 1 key pass per 90 in the Premier League which is pretty good for a fullback.
Defensively, he has been sound too. He has natural instincts on where to position himself and uses it to the best of his abilities. Standing at 6ft 1 in tall, Luke is the ideal modern full back: Strong and athletic; winning duels, tackling, blocking shots and clearing his lines. He's a hard man to beat and almost comes out as a winner in one on ones. Shaw makes a whopping 3.8 clearances per 90 in the league. He is now fully fit, confident and doesn't commit silly errors and overall is a solid defender.
And after consistently playing so well, Shaw is now stalking some serious claim to the left back position at Manchester United. The Kingston born lad is the only natural left back at United and should get the nod over Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, as well as Ashley Young, who despite impressing as a left back, is no match for a hale and hearty Luke Shaw.
The talent has always been there. For a player that was the Premier League's best left back at 18, his abilities were never doubted. The important thing for Shaw is to now stay healthy and just keep playing games. And if he keeps up playing like this, he will definitely be England's left back at the World Cup in Russia.