August 22, 2017
Luke Shaw is now awaiting a first team chance after featuring for Manchester United’s reserves on Monday night. The English defender has been out of action since April when he suffered damaged ligaments at Old Trafford against Swansea City.
It has been a long summer for the England international left-back, who spent the pre-season tour of America rehabilitating from his injury alongside the first team squad. Shaw was working alongside Ashley Young, who also played for the reserves on Monday against Swansea and Marcos Rojo. Now fully recovered, Shaw has a positive outlook, looking forward to the season ahead.
“I’m feeling really good and I only push on from here. I’m looking for the first-team spot now, I’m going to keep pushing, and when the manager needs me I’m going to be ready. Whenever that is, I’m really looking forward to it. I’d rather it was sooner rather than later, but I’m feeling good and whenever I’m called upon, I’m ready.”
It is likely that Shaw’s first chance may come towards the end of September in the third round of the Carabao Cup, dependant on who the Reds draw on Thursday.
United’s number 23 featured at left-back for Ricky Sbragia’s reserve side at Leigh Sports Village on Monday. The U23’s salvaged a draw thanks to Indy Boonen’s goal. Shaw was pleased that he and fellow Englishman Ashley Young enjoyed a good run out.
“I was very happy to get an hour tonight – it was very important for me and for Ashley to get the minutes after the rehab we’ve had. It was a very positive 60 minutes – me and Ash both feel good. I feel very good and hopefully I can push on now, keep myself fit and get stronger and stronger.”
Shaw, talking to MUTV after the match, admitted that it has been a tough few months on the sidelines, watching Manchester United enjoy success in the Europa League without being involved.
“It’s always awful watching because you want to be out there. But the lads have been really impressive and deep down it comes from the manager and his tactical stuff that we do in training which seems to be working. Everyone’s buying into it and working hard on the training pitch to do what he wants us to do. The lads are looking really good and now I’m going to be pushing to be back up there with them.”
Shaw, who joined Manchester United from Southampton for £27 million in June 2014, also highlighted how important Ashley Young is in the Manchester United dressing room, particularly for the younger players. Shaw believes Young’s knowhow is vital in aiding the development of United’s youngsters.
“I’m grateful to have been playing first-team football for four years now, so I’ve got experience, but we had the likes of Youngy in the dressing room with way more experience than me. He’s been through it all and knows everything for the young lads in the dressing room.”
Luke Shaw’s rehab has been mirrored by Ashley Young, ever since the 32-year-old picked up his serious hamstring injury, just four days after Shaw incurred his problem. Young got injured as a substitute in the Europa League Semi-Final first leg victory over Celta Vigo.
“You could tell on the pitch and even inside that he was great for everyone. It was great for morale among the young lads to be around Ashley, with the way he is vocally, and what he does on the pitch, which is so impressive. He’s someone for them to look up to.”
Ashley Young is likely to feature at right-back as cover for Antonio Valencia this season like he did primarily in FA Cup games last season.
Whereas, on the other side of the Manchester United defence, Luke Shaw will be hoping to get an opportunity at left-back in September. Jose Mourinho has been rotating Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind so far, this season and Shaw will be hoping that he too can get a chance after his four-month injury absence.
In September, Manchester United face a busy schedule, with four Premier League matches, plus two games in the UEFA Champions League and one in the Carabao Cup. This will give Jose Mourinho the chance to rotate his squad, potentially giving the returning Luke Shaw the opportunity to impress.