Luke Shaw’s Manchester United career hasn’t exactly panned out the way he would have hoped after agreeing a dream £27million move to Old Trafford from Southampton during the summer of 2014.
Under previous manager Louis van Gaal the 22-year-old showed huge signs of potential, with conjecture already gathering pace over whether he could become one of the United greats in the future.
But a horrific injury picked up against PSV in the Champions League last season, allied with a managerial change, has seen Shaw drop further down the United pecking order over the course of last year.
And during his comeback under Jose Mourinho things haven’t exactly gone smoothly, with the Portuguese boss – as per The Sun – openly criticising his dedication and fitness more than once.
But fresh reports coming from The Times have claimed that the England international’s determination to return from serious ankle ligament damage he suffered in late April, ending his season prematurely, has impressed Mourinho enough for him to give Shaw more first-team opportunities in Manchester.
It is understood that the 22-year-old has been training hard lately, pushing to be fit for United’s Premier League opener against West Ham on 13 August, and his commitment has caught the eye.
This will come as a huge relief for Shaw after an uncertain period last season, and as long as he manages to avoid further injury he can finally prove himself on the biggest stage at Old Trafford.
Much like the great left-backs of United’s past – such as Dennis Irwin and Patrice Evra – he has a natural instinct to join in with the attack, making himself available on the overlap to put crosses into the box.
This style of play has reaped its rewards in the past, and with large target-man and out-and-out striker Romelu Lukaku set to occupy the box Shaw’s ability to provide assists could make him a key outlet.
It is not just his ability in the opposition third that makes the ex-Southampton man so reliable though, as he is also a clever footballer and has developed an excellent knack of reading the game inside his own half.
Despite being nowhere near peak fitness, and suffering from recurring injuries, there were enough glimpses of the Shaw from his time at Southampton last season to give him hope of a career revival.
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