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Hard work always pays off! Luke Shaw signs long-term contract at Manchester United

Manchester United left-back, Luke Shaw, has signed a new long-term contract with the Old Trafford club. The contract will see the England international remain at the Theatre of Dreams until the summer of 2023, with the option of a further years to be added, meaning he could remain at the club for another six years, added to the four years he has spent at the club, giving him a possible testimonial year.

Shaw has had a turbulent time at the club so far, facing criticism from Louis van Gaal because of a lack of fitness, which put Shaw in the frame of mind to do something about, enduring extra training, in Dubai, ahead of the season, in which he started in good stead and put in some great performances. However, in the UEFA Champions League against PSV Eindhoven in September 2016 he suffered a double leg fracture, which could have resulted in him losing his leg.

This set Shaw back some time, spending the rest of the 2015/16 season out recovering from the injury and with the sacking of Van Gaal after United’s Emirates FA Cup triumph that season, saw Jose Mourinho come in as the new manager, giving Shaw another challenge to overcome. Criticism by the Portuguese manager suggested, amongst journalists and some supporters, that Shaw was being bullied. However, he himself suggested it was not the case.

This season, Shaw has made a total of nine appearances for United, playing seven out of eight of the opening Premier League matches, also playing twice in the Champions League in the victory over Young Boys and the draw with Valencia. He scored his debut goal for United in the league opener against Leicester City, putting in some great performances during the start of the season, which has seen United not play their best, until the second half against Newcastle United before the international break, overcoming a 2-0 deficit.

Shaw’s hard work has set a precedent at United this season. It was suggested by many during the summer that Shaw would be sold. Then it was suggested that the player would run down how contract this season, leaving the club as a free agent in the summer. It goes to show that suggestions in the media do not mean that is what is going to happen. The money made by the media, for essentially spreading lies is abhorrent. Speaking about signing his new contract, Shaw told the official Manchester United website:

“Since I came to United, it’s been a whirlwind four years that have passed so quickly. I am very proud to sign my new contract and continue my stay at this great club. I want to thank everybody that has stood by me and shown me huge support – the management, my team-mates and the fans.

“I want to let everyone know that I will give everything I have to repay them and deliver success over the years to come. I’m still very young with a lot more to learn and I can’t wait to continue my progress under Jose Mourinho.”

Jose Mourinho was suggested to be a bully last season for his criticism of Shaw, and other players. Some of the criticism was public, which some suggested was wrong, until you offered the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson publicly criticised players during his reign as manager, with responses such as ‘Ferguson earned the chance to do this’, which was rather immature. Mourinho is the United manager, so has earned the chance to criticise player who needed to do better.

Most will probably suggest that it was Shaw’s hard work that earned his new contract and will not suggest it was down to Mourinho’s criticism that put Shaw on the right track to where he has come today. Shaw has never said anything bad about Mourinho and has played down the talk of bullying. I guess people today seem to attribute anything negative as bullying, which is a shame.

Mourinho spoke to the official Manchester United website about Shaw’s new contract, stating that the player deserved it, understanding his development process and recognising that he worked hard to achieve what he wanted to. Some forget that Shaw is still only 23 and has a great career ahead of him, which will most likely be spent at United, which could see him spend ten years or more at the club. Mourinho said:

“Luke fully deserves this contract. He understood his development process, he has worked really hard at every level and he always believes in himself which is a great attribute to have. 

“Luke is still young and is improving all the time and he must feel very proud of himself. I am delighted that we are keeping such a talented young English player with a bright future ahead of him.”

The likes of Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba, who have all put in some dismal performances this season. However, all three players played a massive part in the overcoming of Newcastle United before the international break, which saw United scored three goals in the second half, winning 3-2. Martial was the scorer of the equaliser and Sanchez scored the winner, which saw Old Trafford erupt after four matches of frustration.

With Chelsea up next for United, at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, continuing the winning ways will be important, as will ending the poor string of results at the stadium, with United winless in the last nine visits in all competitions, winning just once in the last ten visits. Chelsea have started the season in fine fettle, with United starting slow and sluggish and being overturned with somewhat ease. This is where important matches like this can help United rise once again.

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