Luke Shaw admits it is ‘annoying’ that he still has to prove himself at Manchester United, but believes he has Jose Mourinho’s support to resurrect his Old Trafford career.
Shaw’s four-year stay at Old Trafford has been disrupted by injury and fitness issues, and Mourinho has publicly criticised the 23-year-old left-back on several occasions.
It came to a head last season when Shaw felt he was being unfairly singled out by the United manager, making just eight Premier League starts as he missed out on a place in England’s World Cup squad.
Manchester United’s Luke Shaw says Jose Mourinho is supportive of him at Old Trafford
Manchester United’s players and staff made time for supporters on Wednesday afternoon
Ander Herrera and Juan Mata sign autographs for United supporters at their training camp
One supporter took a selfie with United goalkeeper Sergio Romero in Los Angeles
The former Southampton player is entering the final 12 months of a four-year contract still facing an uncertain future at United. But Shaw remains determined to claim a first-team place, and feels that Mourinho still has faith in him following talks with the manager.
Asked if it is disappointing to have to prove himself four years after joining United for £30million, he replied: ‘Yes of course it’s disappointing. I look back over the last years and I haven’t really had a massive run in the team.
‘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.
United’s players were put through a number of light training drills on Wednesday afternoon
United will take on Club America in their first pre-season match during their time in the US
United’s preparations for the new season have been well underway since last week
‘I don’t think I would still be involved right now if the manager didn’t believe in me. I’ve had a good chat with him and I look forward to the new season and getting back to my best.’
With a number of United’s first-team squad on holiday after the World Cup, and Daley Blind returning to Ajax, Shaw is determined to seize his opportunity to impress Mourinho on the club’s five-match tour of the US.
United face Club America in Phoenix in the early hours of Friday morning before playing San Jose Earthquakes, AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid.
‘Of course, I’ll look at it like that,’ added Shaw. ‘Not just for me, there are opportunities for all the players. The next five games are all about fitness, but I want to try and prove to the manager that I can be in his team, not just in these games.
‘When everyone comes back and everyone is fit and ready, I still want to be that first name on the team sheet. It’s time for me to show him over the next four weeks what I can do and why I deserve to be in this team.’
Gary Oldman (left) poses with United boss Jose Mourinho at the club’s training base
The Hollywood actor received new United shirt with ‘Oldman’ on the back from Ander Herrera
The London-born actor has his photo taken with midfielder Juan Mata in LA on Tuesday
Shaw has done his best to convince Mourinho by going on a training trip to Dubai before reporting for pre-season training. He returned to Carrington last week looking leaner, having faced criticism over his weight in the past.
His fitness has also been severely impacted by the horrific broken leg he suffered in September 2015, and damaged ligaments in his foot in May 2017 that required surgery and meant he was little more than a passenger on tour this time last year.
Asked about the trip to Dubai, he said: ‘I did it a few seasons back with Adnan (Januzaj). Coming into pre-season it was the best I’ve ever felt. I felt like I needed it because the last few years I’ve not had a proper pre-season.
Chris Smalling and Shaw pose for photos with Oldman in Los Angeles
Oldman smiles with Joel Pereira (L), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (C-R) and Anthony Martial (R)
‘Obviously the one I came back from after my injury I had problems, and the last two I haven’t really managed to get a whole pre-season together.
‘A year ago today, I was injured and doing rehab. Now I look at it as a full pre-season for me, and right now things are going really well. I feel really strong and good. I need to keep that up going into the season and prove to people why I’m here.’
Meanwhile, United’s players got a few surprises on Wednesday afternoon as they were met by a number of fans at their training camp in Los Angeles.
Wednesday was about making time for supporters and signing memorabilia.
Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Sergio Romero were all spotted stopping for supporters as the United team warmed down. The third session of the week was lighter than the two that went before it.
Earlier in the day the players and Mourinho had met Hollywood actor Gary Oldman.
20-year-old defender Axel Tuanzebe shows his excitement at meeting Oldman on Tuesday
(L-R) Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, Joshua Bohui, Mason Greenwood and James Garner all have their picture taken with the Hollywood legend