Luke Shaw put up an impressive showing without the slightest signs of degeneration, as Manchester United played host to CSKA Moscow in the final match in Group A of the Champions League.
Although the left-back had previously made two appearances off the bench in the Carabao Cup, it was his first start for United after being maligned for a staggering 219 days.
It wasn’t all a bed of roses for Shaw as he was in part culpable for the opening goal, one which was cancelled by Romelu Lukaku, as Manchester United came from behind to register a 2-1 win over the Russian side.
The victory saw United advance into the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners in a performance that could very well help reignite Luke Shaw’s career at Old Trafford.
It’s an easy give away that Shaw won’t start in the Manchester derby despite a near-brilliant midweek performance in Europe, much of it due to the presence of Ashley Young.
The winger-cum-fullback has exhibited a rich vein of form in the position, one that has established him as Jose Mourinho’s preferred left-back despite being ten years older than Shaw.
Furthermore, opportunities for Shaw have been few and far between due to preferential treatment of Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian who have excelled in deputizing in the position.
He may be lower in the pecking order, but his recent performance will be food for thought for the gaffer.
Luke Shaw’s career at Old Trafford has been characterized with injuries aplenty, worst of all a broken leg in 2015 that left him sidelined for seven months.
Recuperation from a recent ankle surgery had him sidelined at the beginning of the season, but concerns over his fitness and form failed to legitimize a call up.
As such, Shaw can only suffice a place in the starting xi if his fitness and form is consistent enough to compete with that of Ashley Young.
United are seemingly on course to trigger a one-year extension for Luke Shaw to avoid losing the left back on a free transfer next summer.
This is an emblematic show of United’s commitment, one that Shaw should use for his own ends.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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