Luke Shaw is inspired by the legacy Gary Neville left behind at Manchester United and wants to emulate his career to become a club legend at Old Trafford as well.
The 19-year-old has arrived with big pressure on his shoulders after becoming one of the most expensive teenagers United have ever signed but lived up to expectation with an impressive full debut.
Shaw is in regular contact with Neville who offers him advice on being a United player and is keen to follow in the footsteps of one of United’s best ever defenders.
“I speak to him and we chatted a lot at the World Cup finals in Brazil,” said Shaw.
“Obviously, at that point, I wasn’t here, but he knew the Manchester United talk was going on and what was happening, so he gave me a lot of advice.
“It was mainly to keep fit and make sure I do everything in a professional way. He said I was going to see a massive change when I came to United and I’ve seen that.
“Gary has played a big part and I’ve got his number as well. He’s sent me a couple of texts so, hopefully, I can see him again when the next England squad comes around, if I’m included.
“To see what he has done, it’s something magnificent, and if I can dream of that, just to do what he has done, it would be the most successful career.
“Hopefully I can be around as long as he was and become a legend too.”
Shaw has a lot of work to put in if he wants to replicate the legacy left behind by Neville. He was never considered a naturally gifted footballer but more than made up for it with an unrivalled work ethic which gave him the platform to arguably become United’s best ever right-back.
The mindset of some players when they join a big club like United is that they have made it to the top and can take their foot off the gas but it’s the opposite of what they need to do.
Eric Cantona is the perfect example of how a player needs to approach United. Despite his status, he had an insatiable desire for extra training and it changed Sir Alex Ferguson’s mindset: “He opened my eyes to the indispensability of practice.”
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gary Neville are two other examples of how hard work on the training pitch can pay off and that’s what Shaw will need to do if he wants to create his own legacy at United like so many greats have done over the course of history.