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Can Luke Shaw make the most of his second chance at Manchester United?

It’s fair to say that Luke Shaw’s Manchester United career has been frustrating and hasn’t gone according to plan for the former Southampton full-back. The defender has been working hard during United’s pre-season tour of the United States but can he nail down a spot in the first team this year?

Shaw was regularly criticised by Jose Mourinho last season with the Portuguese boss suggesting he wasn’t working hard enough in training, questioning his sense of positioning and regularly leaving him out of the side. The left-back appeared desperate to prove his boss wrong suggesting the criticism was difficult to take but he would come back stronger.

After returning to the side, he hobbled off with ten minutes left in Manchester United’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Swansea at the end of April. He only featured 11 times last year, playing fewer than 700 minutes for the club but has reportedly impressed during rehab and in recent training sessions, working his way back into Mourinho’s plans for the forthcoming campaign.

Shaw is extremely unlikely to be fit enough to participate in any of his side’s pre-season friendlies but could be ready for their first Premier League clash against West Ham on August 13th. The 22-year-old may even have recovered sufficiently enough to play some part in the UEFA Super Cup Final against Real Madrid a week earlier.

The Red Devils will face a number of sides including Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy, Manchester City and Norweigan outfit Valerenga during their pre-season campaign. Manchester United have been priced up as second favourites for the Premier League title next year at around 3/1, with a range of welcome bonuses available ahead of the forthcoming season via Oddschecker.

Manchester United have been active in the transfer market this summer, adding Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku to their squad as Jose Mourinho aims to build a side capable of juggling Premier League and UEFA Champions League commitments. The club were reportedly interested in signing Jordi Alba earlier this summer, but the full-back opted to remain at Barcelona instead. United finished last season in a disappointing sixth position but boasted the second-best defensive record in the top flight, and Lindelhof’s arrival increases competition at the back.

Former Manchester United left-back Denis Irwin has suggested that Luke Shaw can prove his manager wrong and cement a place in the side next season. The Irishman remains confident that the £30 million signing can progress significantly and rival Matteo Darmian for a starting position in the side. United will be competing in a number of competitions throughout the campaign and if Shaw can prove himself in the early stages of the season, he could be hard to dislodge from the starting line-up.

Shaw’s attitude has been to knuckle down, work hard and impress his manager and it appears to be working. Although his career at the club has been blighted by injury, a decent run in the side will work wonders for the full-back who celebrated his birthday on the 12th July. A second chance is certainly possible for the defender as he continues to work on building up his fitness and match sharpness ahead of the new season.

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