The manager has praised the drive and ambition of the 23-year-old to succeed at Old Trafford
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed how left-back Luke Shaw battled his way back from the brink of the Old Trafford exit door.
The England international has flitted in and out of the Red Devils’ squad since returning from serious injury, often being criticised by Mourinho, but has recently risen to prominence with a fine run of form that saw him sign a new long-term deal with the club last week.
The 23-year-old is reaping the rewards of his commitment to improving his physical levels, which saw him take a fitness coach with him on holiday.
“He was not selected, I criticised him in training and he was telling me: ‘In this moment I’m not the player you want but I want to play for you, I want to play for Manchester United,’ and he kept saying this all the time,” Mourinho reflected.
“So I always believed in him. It wasn’t someone else telling me, it was him being strong enough to say that.
“I was getting lots of signs and clicks and when last season ended, he told me: ‘Boss, I want a fitness coach to come with me for the holidays.’ I thought: ‘Wow, this is a big click.’ And this season he’s played every match apart from two.
“The kid was very focused on his objectives and he got what he fought for. He really fought for it. He got a new contract that keeps him here for many years.”
Now United will turn their attentions to tying down goalkeeper David de Gea, whose deal expires in the summer, although the club have the option of a one-year extension for the Spain international.
The Portuguese, however, has hinted that those talks could be more complicated.
“Every player is a different player, with different entourages and families and agents. A player nowadays is all of this; not just an independent man but surrounded by people who have influences on them,” the manager said.
“Luke – his people, if you can say that – had a target and that was to ‘win’ at Manchester United, to play for Manchester United and to believe in the process.
“It’s not a motorway, a straight line – you have ups and downs. You make mistakes, you have to cope with the critics.”
Shaw is expected to be a member of United’s starting XI when they tackle Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the Premier League.