Manchester United star Luke Shaw this week made a return to first team action as he was subbed on at half time in the Carabao Cup clash against Burton Albion at Old Trafford.
He has not featured for the Red Devils since sustaining an injury back in April, and so will need to work hard to see his first team opportunities grow. But the question remains however, does United boss Jose Mourinho see him as a player that has the right attitude and mentality to be able to perform at the highest level?
The 22-year-old was signed as a player with immense potential for the future back in 2014, as he looked to take his career to the next level, signing for the Red Devils in a £27m move from Southampton.
He slotted into the first team perfectly initially, and his performances received acclaim from pundits and United management in his first season under former United boss Louis Van Gaal.
This however was short lived as he sustained a serious leg break against PSV Eindhoven in the club’s Champions League campaign in 2015 which saw him sidelined for a considerable length of time. He was stretchered off to a standing ovation by both sets of fans who wished him well on his road to recovery.
Upon making a comeback however, Shaw failed to hit the heights he had previously reached, and upon the appointment of José Mourinho as manager Shaw’s future looked to be heading in the wrong direction, placing uncertainty over his future as United.
Chastised by Mourinho
He has been publicly criticised by Mourinho on more than one occasion for failing to put in enough effort when attempting to regain match fitness, and this didn’t do much to improve his confidence.
United boss Mourinho has been known to criticise his players who fail to hit the mark in the past, and this appears to have done wonders for players such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who after a slow start has flourished in his United career since making a comeback from injury last season.
United are yet to find a player who can firmly establish themselves in the left-back position, which was previously taken up by Patrice Evra, who departed the Old Trafford based club in 2014.
Since then, Mourinho has generally preferred players such as Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian at left-back, with Shaw seeing first team opportunities limited.
Talented, but has a lot to prove
If Luke Shaw wants to establish himself as the club’s first choice left-back, he undoubtedly has a lot to prove, and the former Southampton youngster will need to work hard to impress Jose Mourinho having been criticised by him in the past.
Despite this, he is a player who has the capacity to succeed at the highest level, which there has been glimpses of earlier in his career, leading to him being brought to Old Trafford.
Written by Cristian Fry
Follow Cristian on Twitter @CristianF99
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