By Ollie Cranham-Young
- Luke Shaw hasn’t played since suffering horrific leg on September 15 2015
- Shaw return to training to full training on April 4
Following the signing of defender Eric Bailly from Villarreal and the speculation surrounding the transfer of Swedish and PSG star Zlatan Ibrahimović. Everyone at United seems to have forgotten about the return of Luke Shaw.
After Shaw was unable to reach full fitness in time to participate in the European Championships in France, he has spent the last 9 months ensuring he is able to play when the new season inevitably comes around in August.
Shaw hopes to be in new manager Jose Mourinho’s plans for the pre-season tour United will undertake in Asia this July and is confident he will be available for selection for the Community Shield against Leicester this August.
On 27th June 2014, almost 2 years ago, Luke Shaw signed a four-year contract with United with the option of extending for a further year for £27 million pounds making him the most expensive teenager in history.
United had to overcome strong competition from Chelsea to sign him and the teen made his debut for United a couple of months later against West Ham United in a 2-1 victory.
In the return fixture, he was sent off following a second bookable offence. Shaw had a mediocre first season with the club making 20 appearance but failed to make a strong impact on the team after being deemed not fit enough by Van Gaal.
Shaw’s injury had a massive effect on United’s season
It was in his second season with the club where Shaw started proving that he was worth his £27 million price tag.
The left-back started every game of the 2015/16 campaign playing fantastically at the back to the delight of team mates and fans alike.
Shaw was also receiving much praise from Dutch boss Louis Van Gaal. However on the 15th September 2015 disaster struck.
In a Champions League group stage fixture against PSV, Shaw suffered a double-leg fracture in Eindhoven at the hands of defender Hector Moreno.
Not only was this a massive blow to a United side who finally were obtaining few injuries and performing as a team, but it massively knocked the he confidence of everybody at the club.
Several months later on the 4th April this year, Shaw returned to training but did not reach full fitness to perform in the last couple of games.
It had previously been hoped that Shaw might make the end of the campaign and thus would boost the morale of the side in doing so, but unfortunately Shaw was unable to play a part for club or country.
However this does mean that the England international will be raring to go as we approach the pre-season tour this July.
Eric Bailly. Zlatan Ibrahimovic. We’ve had a lot of talk surrounding the new signings at the club.
Granted it is an exciting time, however the return of Luke Shaw will spark optimism and excitement among players and fans alike as one of the most promising left-backs in world football returns to first team action.
Luke Shaw brings so much to the starting eleven. Firstly, his pace is something which opposition defenders cannot cope with.
Shaw still has plenty of time on his hands
Shaw is also an example of youth English talent which despite not being from United’s academy they have a tradition of using.
During the Sir Alex era, United would often use wingers to counter-attack the opposition and Shaw is an excellent example of a player that could be used for this.
His pace makes him a fantastic counter-attacker and seen as though he plays on the left-wing he can dominate the pitch down the left hand side and could help bring the fast-attacking football back to the Theatre of Dreams which they have been missing.
A consistent, injury-free run of form from the left-back is long overdue and much needed. Physically he’s on the way to being a beast, and his ability is obvious.
The only area people might be concerned about is his the lack of goals he scores. In 95 first-team appearances with Southampton and United, he has yet to register a goal, and from what I’ve seen he’s not even looked like scoring.
But if a defender’s goals are the only problem we face, then I for one would be more than satisfied.
Shaw has so much to offer to United and let’s hope we can get some injury-free seasons from him in which he performs to the best of his ability and exceeds everybody’s expectations.
We cannot wait until he hopefully returns to first team action in the pre-season tour this July.