Manchester United defender Luke Shaw marked his first start since April with a “very positive performance”, said manager Jose Mourinho.
The 22-year-old left-back, who was making only his third appearance of the season, impressed, as United secured a 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday evening to book a place in the round of 16 as group winners.
United will head into Monday’s last-16 draw as one of the seeded sides following the victory, with Mourinho choosing to use the final Champions League group game as a chance to hand Shaw his first United start in 219 days.
The England international had played only 48 minutes of EFL Cup football this season – both of which came from the bench. But the United manager decided to give the left-back a chance and was pleased with how the player went about his business.
“It was a very positive performance especially with the ball going forward. He was really dangerous creating a lot and there was great intensity in his game,” Mourinho was quoted by BBC.
“He was deserving that opportunity for a long time and is going to get more because his performance was really positive,” added the Portuguese.
Shaw’s United future looks to be uncertain following the return of Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young’s revival as a makeshift left-back and the transfer speculation which continues to link Spurs’ Danny Rose with the Red Devils.
Rose, 27, has struggled to win over Mauricio Pochettino since his exclusive heated interview with The Sun, where the rampaging full-back questioned the club’s transfer strategy in the summer.
Reports last week claimed Mourinho has prioritised signing a new left-back in the winter transfer window and that the unsettled Rose was his primary target. The Red Devils tried to sign the left-back over the summer but could not get a deal across the line.
But after Shaw’s dazzling performance last night, there is a chance Mourinho could change his plans regarding Rose and stick to the 22-year-old former Southampton player.
Honestly, it was a pleasure to see Shaw back in the squad and produce a performance of real quality. He did get cramps after 80 minutes but it happens when a player plays for so long after a long gap. With the busy Christmas period about to start and the Manchester derby on the horizon, let’s hope Shaw keeps himself fit as he is surely going to get chances in the coming weeks.