In the 2018 World Cup, Luke Shaw had to watch his English teammates reach the semi-finals of the competition from home, three years on, and he is one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s team sheet. In the same summer as the World Cup, Shaw was at Manchester United, who was managed at the time by one of the world’s best managers, Jose Mourinho, who wasn’t a big fan of his.
Without being in the English squad and very rarely in United’s first team, Shaw’s career didn’t look promising. He was injury-prone, struggled with his weight and many felt the young English man lacked professionalism, however, he managed to turn his career around to become one of the world’s best fullbacks over the last couple of years.
How Luke Shaw Reignited His Football Career
Turning Post World Cup Blues into Excellent Form
Nowadays, every manager on the planet would love to have Shaw in their squad. Not only is he a good defender but he is proving to be one of the best fullbacks going forward. He is not afraid to take on defenders, cross, pass, or shoot. His recent confidence is proving that United was right to spend a lot of money on the former Southampton player.
His Current Managers Believe in Him
Although managers like Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have won plenty of major tournaments in their incredible careers, they both struggled with Luke Shaw. Both coaches publicly criticized Shaw, as they felt his attitude was not right for Manchester United. Louis van Gaal questioned his ability to manage his weight in a press conference, and Mourinho was left fuming when Shaw asked if he could leave an away match with his mother instead of traveling with his teammates on the team’s bus.
However, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the manager’s position in early 2019, Shaw had an opportunity to start again. Instead of publicly humiliating the player, the Norwegian put his arm around Shaw and gave him a second chance. Shaw seemed to grab this opportunity with both hands and he has been fantastic ever since. It was clear for the world to see that Shaw had got his career back on track, and Gareth Southgate was quick to recall him to the England squad.
Shaw’s Stop-Start Career
Unfortunately for Shaw, he has been injured for a lot of his career. The worst injury came in September 2015, when he broke his leg playing for Van Gaal’s United side in 2015. The injury was so bad many felt he would never play football professionally again. He revealed in 2018 that the doctor said there was a chance they might have had to remove his leg. It took 17 months for the defender to make a full recovery from the injury, and when he did return to football, he seemed to pick up injury after injury.
Luckily, a lot of these injuries seem to be behind Shaw. A lot of players that have sustained such a serious injury struggle to keep their heads on the pitch. Some of them pull out of tackles, but not Shaw. He is brave and he doesn’t seem to pull out of any 50/50 challenges. Very few people would have bet money on gambling sites like Kasyno that Shaw would have been one of the best left-backs in the world a few years ago.
He Was the Most Expensive Teenager on the Planet
Luke Shaw signed for Manchester United during the summer transfer window in 2014 for £27m plus add ons. At the time, he was the most expensive teenager on the planet. Having such a big price tag on his head, he understood there would be a lot of eyes on him. Football experts like Paul Scholes questioned the amount of money United forked out for the youngster.
At the time, Shaw looked like he was going to have an incredible career. Not only did he sign for one of the world’s biggest football clubs, but he was also the youngest player to play in the 2014 Fifa World Cup which was held in Brazil. He played the entire game against Costa Rica which ended up as a goalless draw.
Having such a hefty price tag hanging over his head must have been tough, especially in a stadium like Old Trafford. Manchester United’s fans have high expectations for their players and their team, so the pressure must have been very difficult to handle. However, nowadays, signing a player with Shaw’s ability for less than £27 million sounds like a bargain. His current contract doesn’t run out until 2023, and most football fans expect he will extend it.
He Is Playing With a Smile
Under Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho Shaw didn’t seem to enjoy his football. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken the hot seat at Old Trafford, he seems to have a completely different attitude. The current manager has given Luke Shaw a license to go forward, which has given him the chance to take on players. He runs with pace and strength, which terrifies a lot of defenders.
He has been working really well with his teammates, especially when linking up with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Bruno Fernandes. The Old Trafford faithful love to watch counter-attacking football, and Solskjaer’s current system suits Shaw.
Although he has had issues with some of his previous managers, he seems to get on very well with his teammates. Very few players have questioned his attitude or his ability, especially in recent years.
He Scores Goals
Although England lost the 2020 European Championship to Italy on penalties, Shaw scored a fantastic goal that any striker would have been proud of at the start of the game. Although it might seem like an easy opportunity, to keep the ball down is very difficult. If England were to go on to win the championship, Luke Shaw would have become a national hero. Unfortunately for him and his English teammates, they went on to lose on penalties.
This isn’t the first time Shaw scored an important goal. In the 2020/21 season, he scored an incredible goal against bitter rivals Manchester City too. Having a full back on your side that can score, create chances, and defend is not something you find every day.