Manchester United defender Luke Shaw says he is determined to claim back his place in Jose Mourinho’s starting XI next season.
Shaw joined United in 2014 from Southampton in a £30 million that saw him become the most expensive teenager in world football at the time.
However after a promising start to life at Old Trafford, Shaw suffered an horrific double leg break in the early stages of the 2015/16 season, which kept him out until April the following year.
And in the seasons that have followed, the now 23-year-old has continued to suffer a number of minor injuries and fitness issues that have held him back from re-establishing himself in Jose Mourinho’s first team.
However, now back and feeling better than ever, Shaw is determined to make up for lost time.
“I look back over the last few years and I haven’t really had a massive run in the team,” he admitted. “The year I broke my leg was the best year in my career at United. I felt really strong and good and obviously it was unfortunate with the injury.
“It’s annoying for me to say I need to prove myself but I know what I can do and that’s why I’m still here. I’m sure that’s what the manager thinks because I don’t think I would still be involved right now if he didn’t believe in me. I’ve had a good chat with him and I’m looking forward to the season and getting back to my best.”
Shaw however knows he will face competition in his favoured position of left-back next term.
Mourinho’s first choice Ashley Young enjoyed a fine last season and World Cup campaign with England, while United have also completed the signing of promising Portuguese youngster Diogo Dalot already this summer.
But the 23-year-old believes that pre-season can act as blank slate for himself, and of course the other players, meaning he has just as much chance as anyone to become Jose Mourinho’s favoured full-back before the start of the new term.
“There aren’t just opportunities for me, there are opportunities for all the players,“ he insisted, “I look at it like that and I’m training hard and when the games come around – the next five are all about fitness, I want to try to prove to the manager that I can be in his team.
“And not just for these games… when everyone comes back and everyone is fit and ready, I still want to be one of the first names on the team-sheet. It’s time for me to show him over the next few weeks in particular what I can do and why I deserve to be in his team.”