Luke Shaw Probably Needs To Take A Break Away From Man United

Luke Shaw made his first appearance of the season on Wednesday as Manchester United schooled Championship side Burton Albion with a 4-1 win in the League Cup.

The left-back has once again battled back from a long-term injury.

The problem for the England international was that he looked very rusty.

Former Man United fullback Phil Neville was highly critical of the returnee’s performance:

‘I didn’t see that real hunger to sprint to every ball, to sprint forward, to sprint back, I saw someone that’s coasting. He needs to come out of that comfort zone of coasting because if he wants to be a Man United left-back he needs to play at the level of a Ander Herrera.’

To say a player is ‘coasting’ is a brutal assessment for anyone to take, especially one who has been injured as often as Shaw has in the last few years. But it should also drive the left-sided defender to push himself more and to prove himself all over again.

My main concern for the twenty-two year old (yes he is only twenty-two) is that he’s going to struggle to get game time at Old Trafford this season.

Man United will want to challenge for the Premier League title and go as far as possible in the Champions League but to do that they’ll use fully fit players who are in form.

Jose Mourinho was critical of Shaw last term and he doesn’t seem to trust the young Englishman. The Portuguese boss seems to believe that Luke is scared to compete to his fullest and he also worries that the left-back fails to adapt well  when under pressure.

The United manager made his concerns known publicly on a few occasions last year, yet Shaw never seemed to pull his socks up and improve.

At Old Trafford, Shaw currently has Daley Blind, Ashley Young and Matteo Darmian ahead of him in the queue to play as the club’s number three. Argentine defender Marcos Rojo could be back in the first-team set-up in a month or two and he can also play on the left.

I think Luke Shaw certainly has the potential to be his side’s best left-back but doesn’t have a straightforward passage back into the Man Utd first eleven.

Now I don’t think the odd substitute performance, some under 21 games and a few League Cup ties will get him up to speed and fully confident in his abilities again.

I think the England full-back could be better off leaving Manchester temporally, get away from the pressure of playing for the Red Devils and go and enjoy his football again.

An emergency loan to a Championship club could be ideal but you cannot plan for that, so he might have to wait until the start of January and make a loan move to a mid-table Premier League side.

Playing every week and not in vital games each time, could see Shaw happy within himself again and bombing forward and working back more too.

Should he spend six months away for Old Trafford and get plenty of minutes under his belt and impress again on the park, then he could return to Jose’s fold and be like a new signing next summer.

Obviously if he can regain his form between now and January in the Manchester United first team then all the better, I just worry he won’t be given the chances to prove himself in that period!

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