Whether you’re a supporter or a player, the start of a new season is filled with eternal hope and excitement. When you’re the clubs reigning Player of The Year these feelings should be exacerbated, giving you the confidence to push on. Is this the platform Luke Shaw needs to become a lynchpin for United?
Shaw was recognised as the POTY in 2018/19, admirably he said no player deserved this following our disastrous performances last season. As noble as these sentiments are, being the POTY places a greater expectation. With the arrivals of Maguire and Wan-Bissaka, Shaw is under pressure to deliver. So what should we expect from Luke Shaw this season?
It isn’t unfair to say Shaw is at a crossroads in his career, now 24 and no longer a spring chicken. Shaw needs stability. For the first time in his United career he will be part of a defence where rotation ought to be considered a last resort. This should give him the stability and allow him to build strong relationships with his defensive partners. The onus is now on Luke Shaw, how good does he want to be?
At the time of writing, Shaw has suffered a hamstring injury against Crystal Palace, which is expected to keep him out of action for around 5 weeks. This is a disaster for both Shaw and United, who have made a less then convincing start to the new season. However, it could have been worse, there is an international break which gives Shaw more time to recover additionally, it’s just the start of the season. Every cloud has a silver lining…
Shaw needs to push himself and spend these few weeks away contemplating what could be. If he can build a solid understanding with England’s first choice CB and potential future RB, he could even rekindle his England ambitions. This is a season of endless opportunities for Shaw, a small break could help him revaluate but also rejuvenate the team on his return.
Ole wants young and hungry players, this is the perfect chance for Shaw to reignite what has been a stop start career. Just over 70 appearances in 5 years isn’t good enough for a top left back. United fans always back their own but if Shaw fails to deliver consistently this season, could it be the end of the road? Sure, there may be plenty of takers but if Shaw wants an illustrious career at a great club then he must establish himself at the Theatre of Dreams and that start now.