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Luke Shaw ready to fight for his place at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Luke Shaw has made it clear that he is ready to fight for his place under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United after recovering from injury.

The Englishman was handed a chance to impress Mourinho back in April after the Portuguese publicly questioned his work rate but promptly suffered an early end to his season after picking up a hamstring injury against Swansea City.

He returned to action on Monday night with Ashley Young, playing 58 minutes for Ricky Spragia’s Under 23s during a 1-1 draw with Swansea.

And Shaw, speaking after the game, noted that he was ready to impose himself on Mourinho’s starting XI after missing the opening stages of the season.

“One of the lads on the pitch said ‘that mustn’t have been good for you’ but I said ‘no, listen, I need to go through this’ because after you’ve been out for a while, you need those tackles earlier on than later because sometimes you think about it,” he said.

“I feel strong, feel like normal and now I just need to keep fit and push on.

“When I look back at the [injury] I had last time, I think I’ve came back stronger this time and more positive. Now it’s about getting time on the pitch. I’m feeling really good and hungry for this season.”

“It’s down to the manager now. We’ve had two very impressive 4-0 wins so it’s going to be challenging to get back into the team. But that’s why I’ve come to United because I want to be in the team and I want to be playing week in, week out.

“When the manager is ready, I’m ready.”

Mourinho named an unchanged side for the clash with Swansea City and you can see why. The current starting XI is blooming with confidence and an unmistakeable air of cohesion after a successful – and busy – pre-season. He may even name the same side against Leicester City on Saturday.

One area that could be improved, however, comes at left-back. Daley Blind hasn’t done much wrong at all in the opening two Premier League games, but the Dutchman – in similar fashion to Matteo Darmian – lacks impetus moving forward and hasn’t impressed with his crosses in recent times.

The hallmark of United’s strong start has been raw speed throughout the side. Mourinho’s men have, on several occasions, ripped through teams by simply being faster, stronger and more fluid than them, and you sense that Shaw, at his best, would embolden this winning dynamic, helping to stretch the pitch as Antonio Valencia does the same on the other side.

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