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Luke Shaw takes himself off to Dubai to begin pre-season early in a bid to make that left-back position his own

It was good to see in the news on Tuesday that Luke Shaw had taken it upon himself to return to pre-season early over in Dubai at the Nad Al Sheba Complex. Shaw no doubt boosted by news that he could yet be offered a new contract at Manchester United is making a concerted bid to salvage his United career and convince Jose Mourinho that he should be the club’s first choice left back. Convincing Mourinho may be his biggest challenge, however, as the faith that Mourinho has in the English left-back came in to question again last season when the United boss took Shaw off at half-time of the Brighton game at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.

I wrote an article two weeks ago, questioning whether the penny needed to drop with Shaw, or if he needed more support from his manager rather than the public criticism he has been receiving. Well, it looks like the question I posed has been emphatically answered by Shaw.

Pressure will have been put on United’s left back from some of the photos that have been taken of him whilst enjoying his end of season break with his partner in Ibiza. Pictures have emerged of Shaw posing topless, with a very unlike football player physique. This has led to some frustrated United fans showing their anger towards the player on social media, whilst others have just made fun of him and his professionalism.

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Shaw making this effort to prove his fitness ahead of the new season will hopefully impress United manager Jose Mourinho, who on a number of occasions as asked for more commitment from United’s Number 23. At the risk of Mourinho cutting his own nose off to spite his face, so to speak, the boss has been prepared to play Ashley Young and even the frozen out Matteo Darmian ahead of Shaw since taking charge of the club.

Despite reportedly being offered a new contract, it does feel like this is Luke Shaw drinking in the “Last Chance Saloon” especially with rumours circulating in recent days that United are chasing Juventus left-back Alex Sandro. Certain sections of the media are even suggesting that the reds have agreed personal terms with the Brazilian left-back. A player of Sandro’s quality would not be joining the club to be cover to Shaw. Whilst at Juve, Sandro has become a serial winner domestically and has gone far on a couple of occasions in the UEFA Champions League with the Italian club. If he was to join United this summer there is no doubt he would command respect and a regular first team place.

The only question that remains to be answered is, can Shaw do enough between now and the end of pre-season to convince Mourinho that he does not need to spend a reported £60 million on the new left back. Can the young English full-back fulfil his potential and play like a £60 million left-back on a consistent basis, which he no doubt can do. He will get the opportunity to do so during United’s five-match pre-season tour in the United States of America. But as well as that, can he show the boss he can be the person he wants him to be and a person that has the right attitude to be a United player on and off the pitch.

Written by Joe Smith

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