The youngster’s move to Old Trafford in 2014 was momentarily placed under jeopardy as a result of Mourinho’s attempt to snatch Shaw from under the nose of Manchester United.
As it was, the defender – despite being a Chelsea fan – chose Man United as his next club, believing he’d receive more game time under Louis van Gaal.
Shaw, in an interview with the Guardian, mentioned how he jokes with the 53-year-old about the affair.
“We’ve had a little joke about it,” Shaw says. “He’s a cool manager. ‘Why didn’t you come?’ he wanted to know. I just felt I had more opportunity of first-team football here.
“But now I’m with him and I’m really happy he’s here. It hasn’t been the best few years but all of a sudden it feels really good, really positive. We feel we have that fear factor back where people are thinking this team is going to be hard to beat. I’m fit, I’m happy, I still feel I have a lot more to give. I just want to push on now.”
Can you imagine a United player being able to share a laugh in the same way with Louis van Gaal? No, they’d probably be too busy watching replays of their last performance, with the Dutchman angrily looming over them like some old-fashioned headmaster.
But with Mourinho at the helm, the relationship between manager and player is evidently hallmarked by mutual respect and understanding. The intimidatory air exuded by the Dutchman has been replaced with an air of receptiveness and mutual respect, leading to a firm bond between the two parties.
That seamless connection is fundamental when it comes to forming a well-integrated, dedicated unit capable of challenging for silverware, and the early signs suggest that the bond is strengthening between Mourinho and his squad.