Phil Neville has criticised Luke Shaw‘s work rate at Manchester United, noting that his continued absence from the first team at Old Trafford must be down to his approach being “fundamentally wrong”.
Jose Mourinho revealed earlier this week that Shaw, not even handed a place in the match-day squad that faced West Bromwich Albion, was far behind other members of the first team in terms of work rate.
The Englishman, in response, made it clear that he would do everything to fight for his place at Man United over the next month or so.
But Neville has expressed serious doubt over Shaw’s ability to produce the standard of work rate demanded by the Portuguese.
“I know he’s suffered an injury but there must be something fundamentally wrong if the manager is questioning your attitude, training performances, desire,” he said.
“That from a 21-year-old with the world at your feet, you think maybe this is the last throw of the dice from Jose to try and get something out of Luke Shaw that he knows is in there.
“When Luke Shaw signed for Manchester United I was probably involved in the process of scouting him and recommending him as a player because I thought he would be a Manchester United left back for the next 10 years.
“You would think he would be a sensational player, but he just hasn’t done it.”
When Louis van Gaal, Roy Hodgson, Mauricio Pochettino and now Mourinho all question Shaw’s work rate, you can’t help but wonder if there is indeed an engrained problem that will preclude him from ever reaching the highest level, especially under a manager who prioritises the presence of an indefatigable work rate above anything else.
Supporters have seen Shaw – when actually handed some minutes – produce some promising performances this season; his recent cameo against Everton springs to mind. But Mourinho clearly sees something in training that stops him from entrusting Shaw with a regular spot in the starting XI, and it would not be surprising to see him move on over the summer.