Jose Mourinho has remained coy about Luke Shaw‘s standing in the hierarchy at Manchester United, noting that the Englishman was “working”.
Shaw has only featured once since recovering from ankle ligament damage back in September, coming on as a half-time substitute against Burton Albion.
He was included in the squad that travelled to Lisbon for the 1-0 win over Benfica along with Marcos Rojo but didn’t make the match-day squad.
And Mourinho, when asked about Shaw’s predicament ahead of the clash with Huddersfield, was decidedly laconic.
When Mourinho was asked about Luke Shaw he said he was merely 'working'. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) October 20, 2017
Shaw has been a United player for three years and still hasn’t properly cemented himself in the side once.
There have been good performances and promising spells, but nothing really enduring. How many players at this level would get away with that?
Injuries are, of course, a gloomy mitigating factor that all too often stunts Shaw’s growth, and criticising him for this is hardly fair.
But what if you were Mourinho? How helpful is having a left-back who you can’t rely on, even if he is, on his day, better than any left-sided defender at the club? Somebody with less ability would have been canned a long time ago.
Either way, the fact that Shaw trained with the first team squad in Lisbon, along with Mourinho’s cold remark that he is simply “working”, suggests that the 54-year-old is handing the Englishman one more chance to stake a claim for a place in the first team.