Jose Mourinho has been singing the praises of Luke Shaw after the Manchester United left-back signed a new contract on Thursday, saying he is much stronger both physically and mentally than he was at the start of previous seasons.
Shaw’s original Manchester United contract was due to expire next summer, but after a superb start to the season – winning two of the clubs Player of the Month awards already – the Red Devils have rewarded him with a new five-year extension.
Jose Mourinho has previously slammed the 23-year-old in the media for his lack of form, fitness and all-round footballing intelligence, but has now come out to praise the former Southampton man, saying it was important to keep him at the club.
“Players are different. They react in different ways. Luke reacted in the best possible way,” Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to face Chelsea on Saturday.
“In his difficult moments, when he was not selected, he said the same thing all the time, ‘I want to play for you’.
“He faced the process in a brave way and started in the best possible way with a club fitness coach before we came back for pre-season.
“He arrived on day one in a much better condition than a player who had a holiday. He absorbed all the work. Mentally he was stronger. The national team call-up helped. It was an accumulation of factors.
“It was an important contract for the club to keep him. He got exactly what he wanted – a new contract at Manchester United.”