Ashley Young returned from suspension on Saturday afternoon against Burnley and immediately replaced Shaw in the team despite six consecutive starts for the young Englishman in which he thoroughly impressed.
In midweek, it appeared he had impressed manager Jose Mourinho enough to convince the Portuguese not to sign a new left-back in January of in the summer. He reiterated that point when questioned why Shaw had been dropped from the side.
“I’m really happy with Luke,” Mourinho told MUTV ahead of kick-off. “As I said yesterday, I don’t need to go to the transfer market to get a left-back because I’m really happy with Luke and with the adaptation of Ashley Young so I’m really happy.”
The Reds had been linked to a number of players, including Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose and Fulham’s 17-year-old Ryan Sessegnon.
Explaining his reasons for selecting Young over Shaw, Mourinho said, “I think this match is a very specific one and one that you need the experience of Young.
“He also projects very well in attack,” he explained. That’s a decision [you make] when you have two players and a good squad, and you can adapt.”
If Shaw returns to the side in the coming games, then there will be no complaints and it will have been nothing out of the ordinary. However, it would be disappointing to see Shaw not start any games in the next couple of weeks given his recent performances.
He was finally building his rhythm back up after a string of unfortunate injuries. Confidence was growing and his contribution from the left flank was excellent, both in defence and offensively.