Manchester United are going through a tough time both on and off the field. A hectic few week saw them held to a dull goalless draw versus Chelsea at home followed by a loss against Arsenal at home. This was followed by an away loss to Istanbul in the UEFA Champions league game week three. These runs of results saw both the Media and board pile the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The trip to Goodison Park was seen as a litmus test for the under-fire Norwegian, while Manchester United inspired by midfield sensation Bruno Fernandes won a key match. They lost the services of their key left-back Luke Shaw for over a month.
A past marred by injuries
Luke Shaw started his Premier League career with a bang playing for Southampton. This caught the eye of Manchester United board who initially wanted to buy him under David Moyes, but it was the successor Louis Van Gaal who got to attain the services of the explosive Left-Back for 30 million pounds. On his day and when in form, Luke Shaw is one of the best left-back’s to be playing in the EPL. His runs into the opposition half or his tackling and defensive attributes are second to none. His pace with the ball and pace off it also makes him a danger for any team that is facing an in-form and injury free Luke Shaw.
Injury Timeline of Luke Shaw
Since making his switch to Old Trafford, Shaw has faced the ignominy of being on the trainers table on most occasions. He first faced a Hamstring Injury before he could make debut for his new club, which saw him miss action for over a month. He finally made his United debut against West Ham United having missed four games. Shaw missed a further 8 games for
United when he suffered an ankle injury which kept him out till the start of the new year of 2015. Shaw suffered another Hamstring injury and a facial injury in his debut year which saw him miss 6 games in total.
“That Champions League game”
The 2015 campaign marked the return of the Red-Devils to the prestigious UEFA Champions League, in the very first game of the tournament, Luke Shaw suffered a terrible injury courtesy of PSV Eindhoven player Hector Moreno in September of 2015. This injury saw him miss 51 games for Manchester United. The fracture on both his legs saw him miss the whole campaign which saw United lift the FA cup. Many considered the injury to be severe on Shaw and feared for his playing future. Shaw admitted the injury became mentally tough on the then 20-year-old to go through such an injury early in his career.
The return of Luke Shaw and the injury travails continue
Luke Shaw finally returned to the Manchester United team under new manager Jose Mourinho in the Community Shield game against champions Leicester City. Since suffering the horrible fracture on both legs Luke Shaw has suffered a spate of injuries to his groin, foot, also suffering a concussion and another injury to his hamstring. This meant that Luke shaw has suffered one injury every season under every manager that he has played under.
New season, New injury same old chapter for Luke Shaw. But a silver lining?
The game against Everton saw the left-back suffer a muscle injury. As a result United expect him to miss action at least till the 25th of November this year. This latest injury though comes with a silver lining, as it has coincided with the international break which means he could be missing just one game against
West Bromwich Albion to be played on November 21, at old Trafford. Shaw could make his comeback against former side Southampton away at St. Mary’s.
What does it mean for Shaw? And a possible chance for Telles?
The latest injury set-back will raise some questions and lot of doubts about Luke Shaw’s potential future. His injury record remains a concern for both the team management and fans. Especially as Shaw is one of the most important players for Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rates his abilities very high, but his injury plagued past does cast a doubt on his future.
Luke Shaw will also be looking over his shoulder as this latest setback has given a chance to Alex Telles to make the left-back position his own. A few good performances and an injury free run could see the Brazilian make the position his own. Telles who himself is waiting to come back after battling the dreaded Coronavirus made a successful and praise-worthy debut in Europe against PSG. His performance and stability playing as a left wing back in a 3-5-2 formation remain universally praised. Telles brings with him European experience and Brazilian flavour of making tricky runs into the opposition half. His crossing and dribbling abilities will also come in handy as United will look to kick on their season after this international break in a hectic phase till the start of the new year.
A chance to come back strong
Luke Shaw is still only 25, and potentially has a good decade of football ahead both for the club and internationally. This latest injury setback should be used a chance by Shaw to prepare himself both mentally and physically for a potentially injury free decade of playing career. For such a dream to materialize he should not rush from his injury or be insecure about his place in the side.
Shaw should bide his own time and work on his body and should tell himself that he remains an integral part of this Manchester United revolution which is being carried out by Solskjaer. If he can come back fit both physically and stronger mentally, he is a major piece of the back four jig-saw for the next 6-7 years at Old Trafford. A fit Luke Shaw is a must for this side as he brings about safety and stability to the men in red defensively and a sense of fear in the opposition ranks with his pace and ball control when in the offensive role.
While the fans of Manchester United wait for Shaw to emerge back stronger from this latest setback, only time and the player in question himself can say what the future beholds for this exciting 25-year-old talent.