The Resurgence of Luke Shaw

At the start of the 2018/19 pre-season for Manchester United, there were many questions being asked from supporters about Luke Shaw. There were many different opinions on what will happen to Shaw and if he had a future at the football club. In the summer of 2014, the 23-year-old was signed by the Red Devils in a deal worth £30m, making him the most expensive teenager in football at the time. He was coming into the side with big expectations and big shoes to fill after the departure of Legendary full-back Patrice Evra. 

Luke Shaw is a member of Southampton’s youth academy, where he came through the ranks and made his first-team debut in January 2012. He continued to impress for the saints making a total of 60 appearances, with the most impressive displays coming under ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino. Shaw was also a regular for England under 21’s at the time, having represented England at every youth level. A step up to the main team came in March 2014, where his excellent performances caught the eye of then England manager Roy Hodgson. He again had big shoes to fill, with England in between full-backs due to the recent retirement of legendary defender Ashley Cole. 

In 2014 the £30m that brought Shaw from Southampton to the Red Devils was described as a great investment as he was showing signs of a top full-back with an excellent future ahead of him. Shaw enjoyed his first pre-season with the club but, before he could make his competitive debut, he sustained a hamstring injury that ruled him out for a month. It wasn’t until the 27th September that Shaw made his debut in a 2-1 win against West Ham at Old Trafford; October 2014 then saw Shaw named on the 40-man shortlist for the Golden boy award.

His first season at Old Trafford was very stop-start with him picking up knocks and suspensions that interrupted his regular place in the team. The following season was probably the most difficult and testing time in Luke Shaw’s short career, after making a good start and playing every game, Shaw broke his leg against PSV in September 2015 in a champions league group stage game. This double leg break ruled him out for the rest of the season and halted what was a very promising start.

Since August 2016 where Shaw made his return in a 2-1 win against Leicester in the Community Shield it has been very much a testing period, with him picking up lots of niggles and long-term problems that have derailed him once again. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been known to be hard on Luke Shaw in the last couple of years, but after the impressive start he has made this season, it could all have been for a good reason. 

Mourinho in the last 18 months has been questioning Shaw’s attitude and desire, and this puts question marks over Shaw’s future at the club. However, after his start to this season which saw him score on the opening day and put in recent man of the match performances, he has earned August and September player of the month awards. The England full-back has finally become a player that is showing his worth to the Old Trafford faithful and so has shown that he is a player Mourinho cannot drop.

His performances at club level have now put him back in the England reckoning and with him sealing a new long-term contract at United, Luke Shaw will be looking to impress even more and show that United was right to invest in the £30m man.

Author: TUD Author