Jose Mourinho has hinted towards Luke Shaw possibly featuring during Manchester United’s clash with CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night.
Only a six goal defeat at the hands of the Russian side would see Man United fail to top Group A after claiming 12 points from five games.
Shaw, who featured in the match-day squad against FC Basel, has only made two appearances from the bench in the Carabao Cup this season as he continues to linger on the periphery under Mourinho.
And the 54-year-old, when asked about whether Shaw would feature on Tuesday, confirmed that he would once again be in the squad but refused to disclose just how much time on the pitch – if any – he plans to give the ostracised Englishman.
“I’d have to think,” he said. “I’m going to make a few but not too many changes. We didn’t qualify yet and I need to keep a certain balance in the team. But when you speak about Luke Shaw, you are right.”
“He’s working to have an opportunity and sooner or later, the opportunity will arrive, because he deserves that opportunity.
“Selected for tomorrow, yes, for sure. To start or to be on the bench, I cannot answer.”
Shaw may be stretching every sinew to impress Mourinho in training, but the bottom line is this: the Portuguese simply doesn’t trust him.
He has only used him on occasions when the result was clearly a foregone conclusion, and even ahead of a game where United just need to avoid losing by five – something that hasn’t happened since 2011 – you can sense an element of reluctance to use him in his tone.
His only chance for starting on Tuesday, you imagine, would be founded upon Mourinho wanting to tempt potential suitors into making a bid for him next month.