Luke Shaw can do no right in Jose Mourinho’s book. It doesn’t matter whether his performance is good, bad or indifferent, Mourinho constantly feels the need to put him down. For that reason, it’s time for Luke Shaw to move on this summer.
In June 2014, Luke Shaw joined Manchester United from Southampton, becoming the most expensive teenager in British football history and the fourth most expensive defender in world football at the time.
Ryan Giggs, Man United’s assistant manager when Shaw was signed, stated: “Luke is a very talented young left-back with great potential.
“He has developed immensely during his time at Southampton and has all the attributes to become a top player.”
That talent hasn’t just disappeared, but Shaw’s confidence certainly has and Mourinho is responsible.
When Luke Shaw joined Man United, he rejected Chelsea who were managed by Mourinho at the time. It’s not clear whether Mourinho resents him for that but one thing is certain, Shaw is regularly and publicly criticised by Mourinho in a very harsh and often unfair way.
Mourinho’s latest criticism of Shaw came after the 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Brighton. Shaw was hauled off at half-time by Mourinho who said:
“Luke, in the first half, every time they came in his corridor, the cross came in and a dangerous situation was coming. I was not happy with his performance.”
Bizarrely, in January, Mourinho was full of praise for Shaw:
“He’s good, solid, physically much better, mentally much stronger, tactically understanding the game much better and what we need in different phases and circumstances.
“I’m really happy and [looking at the transfer market], I can say that in this moment I don’t see many left-backs better than this Luke Shaw.”
Shaw has understandably struggled since he suffered a horrific double leg fracture in the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven in September 2015. He was out of action for 10 months at a time when he was in great form for Man United.
While Mourinho is always criticising him, Shaw is not completely blameless in this scenario. When Louis Van Gaal was Man United manager, he declared Shaw was “not very fit or fit enough to do what I want.” His comments came just a month after signing the youngster. Shaw clearly wasn’t doing all he could to be in the best shape possible and Van Gaal was right to be unimpressed by that.
Luke Shaw is still only 22 and has a very bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately, with Jose Mourinho determined to belittle him at every opportunity, it would be better for Shaw if he continued his development elsewhere. Shaw needs a manager who will put an arm around him. Mourinho is not that man.