The 19-year-old suffered a double broken leg in the game against PSV back in September and is expected to be out for the majority of the whole season, if not at all of it.
Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Ashley Young have all been drafted in at left-back in his absence but speaking after the game against Watford, van Gaal pointed towards the slow process of his rehabilitation and how Man United can cope with it.
Speaking about Shaw on Saturday, van Gaal said: “I was convinced that he would have a very good season. Shaw was the main player for that position is it was a big blow for us.”
“Maybe we have to buy a left-back in January. His rehabilitation is going well, but the process can now be very slow.
“That’s when you need a very good mental character to continue. I don’t know if he will play again this season because we don’t know if his recovery will continue to be quick and the doctors won’t take any risks, which is good.”
From my point of view, the idea of signing somebody would be extremely short-term. Whoever it is would be pushed below Shaw when he is fully fit again, so surely the best option is to simply cope until he is back in action.
Of course, that may be what van Gaal intends to do and probably is but it all depends on how well the likes of Rojo, Blind and Young can do in adequately replacing him.
If they don’t step up to the mark, van Gaal may feel obliged to do something about it and may entertain the idea of bringing in a new left-back in January.