Shaw has been sidelined since September of last year having suffered a double fracture of his right leg in the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven.
The left-back has been training with Man United’s U21 side recently and there had been speculation that he could feature at Wembley but van Gaal removed the possibility in his press conference on Friday.
“I have always said to Luke that he can play in the final to keep his motivation high, but now I cannot say that anymore because we are in the final! It is a pity because he cannot reach that level to play,” van Gaal said.
“He needs more time to play but it keeps his motivation very high. It is still high and I have to give compliments to him because it is not easy to be away for such a long time. He is coming back, but he is coming back next season.”
Shaw is yet to be involved in contact training sessions and he had surgery three weeks ago to remove a screw.
It will be disappointing not to see him on the pitch again this season as it would have been a big boost for everyone associated with United following a dour campaign.
But United are absolutely right not to take risks with Shaw’s fitness. On top of the possible physical consequences, there will be a mental barrier that Shaw will need to break down. Getting his head down over the summer and hitting the ground running next term is the right course of action for the defender to take.