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Manchester United could offer lifeline to beleaguered defender

It’s not unfair to suggest that Luke Shaw’s Manchester United career has been something of a disappointment. Purchased from Southampton for roughly £30m in the summer of 2014, the 22-year old was criticised by then-manager Louis van Gaal for his fitness as he took the reins over from David Moyes, and Shaw subsequently found it hard to make a mark in his debut campaign at Old Trafford. The player worked hard in Dubai during the summer of 2015 to improve his conditioning and physical fitness, and started the Dutchman’s second season in fine form, starring alongside Memphis Depay on United’s left flank.

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Unfortunately, a horrific double leg-break against PSV Eindhoven in the club’s opening Champions League group game saw Shaw’s season cut short after eight games, and he didn’t play again under Van Gaal. Despite battling back to fitness under Jose Mourinho, Shaw has failed to earn the Portuguese’s trust in two full seasons, and has been the target of some alarmingly public criticism as to his application and ability.

Even after all of this, and with United reportedly keen on adding Juventus’ Alex Sandro to the club’s ranks, the Manchester Evening News are reporting that Shaw could still be offered a new deal at the club. There is some speculation that this is a safeguard to earn United a bigger transfer fee given a swelled contract for Shaw, but there also remains the outside possibility that the player could assert himself as a useful part of Mourinho’s plans this summer. Ashley Young will have a well-earned holiday when England’s World Cup campaign ends, meaning that Shaw will have the chance to impress on United’s pre-season tour of America. This could be a key opportunity for the former Southampton defender to assert himself, but after almost four seasons of issues, could this be Shaw’s last chance?

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By Kevin T

Kevin Thatcher is a freelance journalist who's work has featured in various national and international publications, including Mail Online & The Mirror. Kevin has been a Manchester United season ticket holder in South Stand for many years, and writes for RedMancunian to combine both his love for writing, and club.

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