Luke Shaw to be given the time to shine which could benefit both Jose Mourinho and Manchester United

Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw is now fit and ready to go according to manager Jose Mourinho. United face up against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening with Shaw likely in the squad, earning a chance to impress the Portuguese manager in a bit to solve the left-back problems at the club. Since Shaw ended his season early due to injury, United were using Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, and even Demetri Mitchell in the left-back role none of them, solving the problem although Mitchell has not been given the chance to stake his claim this season. The left-back is the position United fall short in, with a player securing the role, the defensive setup and even attacking on the left flank would be better.

Shaw has not had the best time since he started his Manchester United career three summers ago. During his first season, fitness and form were a problem with the player enduring a training regime during the first summer at the club, heading into his second season, which started with a double leg fracture in the UEFA Champions League match in the Netherlands. Shaw recovered last season, his first under Mourinho, but poor form, lack of fitness and later injury, ending the season after undergoing an operation on his ankle. This summer, Shaw has been preparing for the new season and after playing for the U23’s a few times, he is now fit and waiting for that chance to show Mourinho what he can do.

Shaw was expected to feature for the U23’s in their 2-2 draw with Chelsea in the Premier League 2 on Monday evening, seemingly being pulled out of the squad in order to face Burton Albion this evening. Shaw is yet to make 50 appearances for the Old Trafford club during his three-year spell, which shows the problems the player and the club have had during the spell. Shaw is a great left-back and is tipped to be the future for England and providing he can impress and prove his doubters wrong, the world will literally be his oyster. Should Shaw earn the faith of his manager, he would be undroppable with Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, and even Ashley Young utilised in the position this season, none of them proving the role should be theirs.

After United’s 4-0 victory over Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday, Sky Sports pundit and former United right-back and captain Gary Neville spoke about Shaw, saying:

“I think the problem is at left-back, where Ashley Young was put under a lot of pressure by [Everton duo Tom] Davies and [Cuco] Martina.

“Blind’s played there, Rojo’s played there, Shaw’s played there, Darmian’s played there, but they can’t button that one down.”

Mourinho has already confirmed that he will be resting David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic against the Championship club in the Carabao Cup, which will pave way for fringe players and those not having a lot of playing time, also Shaw, returning from injury. The manager confirmed:

“I’ve given only four players two days off — David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic and Eric Bailly. Apart from that, everyone is selected.

“It’s a competition, and we take it seriously. If we go to the next round, probably these guys [those rested on Wednesday] will play and I’ll give a rest to others.

“Our squad is good, but we don’t have 30 players. We have what we have, and a couple of injuries now with Paul Pogba and Axel Tuanzebe, so we need some of the players that played against Everton.

“We need some to be on the bench, we need to have a strong team. I know the quality of the Championship and I know if we don’t take it seriously, we’re going to lose.”

The return of Shaw would be great for United. We should not expect him to be up to speed after only playing a few reserve level matches, so he will need the time to be bedded into the first team again, regain full match fitness and the ability to play at the highest level again. Mourinho had criticised the player last season, a few times, him coming back into the setup in April, which is where he suffered that ankle injury which has kept him out of action. Shaw is an out-and-out left-back, something United lack without him being in the team, looking to other players from other positions to fill the void, which has never worked and probably never will.

Shaw will be able to keep in mind that should he reach his full potential, he will not be replaced by anyone other than for rotation to keep him fresh which would see him play at the top-level for the best part of a decade. Demetri Mitchell and even Joe Riley could contest Shaw in the future, which would bring out the best of all three players, although Riley has been playing a winger role and also at right-back, so it could just be Shaw and Mitchell, with the likes of Blind, Darmian and Young filling in where they need to for some matches, possibly not as a permanent fixture. United have many matches coming up, including Southampton away on Saturday, whilst it is unlikely Shaw will play both matches, his performance, should he play tonight, may force that.

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