Manchester United defender Luke Shaw struck a defiant tone when talking to assembled members of the press this week during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States. The former Southampton left back joined the club in 2014 when Louis van Gaal took charge of the club, but, barring a strong run of form at the start of the 2015/16 season, Shaw has struggled to make a mark at Old Trafford after four seasons. After a horrific double leg break in his second year at the club, various issues with application and his fitness, Shaw now seemed determined to impress Jose Mourinho as he heads into the final year of his initial five-year deal.
“There are opportunities for all the players, not just me,” he told a press conference in quotes carried by The Mirror. “I look at it like that. The next five games are about fitness. I want to prove to the manager that I can be in his team. When everyone comes back, I still want to be the first name on the team-sheet. It’s time for me to show him I can be in the team.”
When asked about the last several seasons, which have seen Shaw struggle to get into the first team picture on a consistent basis, Shaw offered: “It has been disappointing. I look back over the last few years and I’ve not had a massive run in the team. The year I broke my leg I felt strong – it was unfortunate. I know what I can do and that’s why I am still here. I don’t think I would still be involved if the manager didn’t believe in me.”
Shaw’s comments offer encouragement that the 23-year old still has a willingness to break into the United starting XI on a consistent basis, but after seeing Ashley Young secure the left back slot last season, and knowing that he doesn’t fully have Mourinho’s trust, he certainly faces a tall order to change his manager’s mind.