Jose Mourinho has entertained the possibility of Luke Shaw reuniting with Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino and admitted that the Englishman was miles down the pecking order at Manchester United.
Shaw has been subject to public criticism from Mourinho on several occasions since the 54-year-old’s arrival, most recently in April, and has only made two appearances from the bench in the League Cup so far this season.
Recent reports have claimed that the 22-year-old no longer believes he has a future under Mourinho after failing to make inroads in the first team for around a year.
And Mourinho, when asked about Shaw’s recent comments in Pochettino’s book where he expressed a desire to work with him once again, said that such an inclination made sense and expressed doubts over his chances of securing a regular place in the first team.
“Why not? Because of his words,” he said. “If you want to speak about his words I would be very disappointed if his words were different.
“I am always disappointed when a player, because he has a new manager, the new manager becomes the best and the old manager becomes very bad, and football is full of examples of lack of character.
“Luke Shaw was just honest. The manager that helped him to come to the first, to come to the best moment of his career is a manager that do not forget he likes a lot and that maybe one day he would be reunited again so for me the perfect words that show Luke Shaw character in relation to the people that he happy with.
“He has a future here – I think he has – but the situation is not easy because he comes from injury after injury after injury. He needs two, three, four, five or six matches in a row to play, to make mistakes, to get condition, to get match fitness and I cannot give him that. In this moment I can’t give him that.
“If he was a midfield player, central midfielder player, then yes, because we only have two left backs we have so many options, so the situation is not easy.”
You sense that Mourinho, whilst having no issues with Shaw as an individual, no longer trusts him as a professional at the highest level following a year riddled with injuries, low confidence and a general air of gloom surrounding his prospects in the first team.
And as the boss notes, Shaw finds himself rooted to the bottom of an ever-osiliating pile, plagued by injury after injury, seemingly trapped in a never ending spiral of anonymity, and you can see why Mourinho would understand and sanction a reunification with Pochettino – the man who oversaw the finest, most injury-free spell in his career.