Manchester United appeared to lack a lot of things under Louis van Gaal last season, an aesthetic playing style chief among them. They also desperately missed their first-choice left-back from mid-September onwards.
If Luke Shaw’s debut campaign as a United player left fans a little bemused by the whopping £29m outlay for the then 18-year-old, the impressive manner in which he began his second must have laid fears of hastiness in signing him to bed.
Having put some niggling injury troubles from the prior campaign behind him by tucking a full pre-season under his belt, the roving left-back cultivated by Southampton was seemingly reborn at Old Trafford early in 2015/16.
Playing on the opposite flank to new signing Matteo Darmian, the young left-back was nominated alongside the Italian, and centre-half Chris Smalling, for United’s August Player of the Month,
With Smalling also excelling in the centre of defence and complemented by the left-footed Daley Blind, the Iron Tulip looked to have assembled the most well-balanced back fours in sometime. Then disaster struck.
On the wrong end of a sickening challenge in a Champions League fixture against PSV Eindhoven, a double leg break cruelly ended Shaw’s entire season, but he’s now about to make his comeback.
New manager Jose Mourinho has been busting a gut already in the transfer market, with several marquee additions to his squad this summer, but the Portuguese and everyone associated with United will be just as delighted to see the 21-year-old back in the famous strip.
The Southampton academy product is expected to start for the red half of Manchester as they face Wigan Athletic in a friendly for what will be Mourinho’s first game in charge.
The 13-time Premier League champions then jet off to China for a pre-season tour and if Shaw comes through the trip unscathed, it will be a significant boon to United’s chances of challenging for top honours in 2016/17.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.