Manchester Evening News reporter Samuel Luckhurst has asked more questions than he has answered in his latest report about Manchester United’s Luke Shaw.
The left back has been missing from the last few squads through injury, having been dropped after the 4-0 loss to Brentford by Erik ten Hag in favour of new signing, Tyrell Malacia.
And Luckhurst believes that the manager had expected Shaw to be fit for United’s last game against Real Sociedad, which could have been an opportunity for him to get minutes after Malacia had played 3 games in 8 days.
But according to the reporter, “The 27-year-old was in line to start against Sociedad but did not participate in United’s open training session the day before the Europa League defeat.
“It is understood Shaw’s injury is believed to be minor and United manager Erik ten Hag said the left-back had a ‘small complaint’.
“Ten Hag wanted to include Shaw in the 20-man squad at Leicester but the defender was still struggling with his injury and United had to name two goalkeepers on the bench.”
There is a suggestion of a hint from Luckhurst here that Shaw is swinging the lead a little, at least, that he could be being a little flaky.
The England man missed the end of last season as he underwent surgery to remove the pins from his leg that had been installed due to his double leg fracture, sustained during a Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven in 2015.
Ironically, that injury happened seven years ago to the day of United’s next match against Sheriff Tiraspol, another European away day.
Luckhurst further notes that “The timing of Shaw’s unavailability could affect his chances of an England squad inclusion, with manager Gareth Southgate due to announce his party for this month’s Nations League ties with Italy and Germany on Thursday.”
Given his lack of recent game time, it would seem highly unlikely that the former Southampton man will make the cut.
With chances between now and November becoming increasingly few and far between, it looks more likely that Malacia will be the one heading for Qatar, even though he normally has to settle for playing second fiddle behind former United man, Daley Blind, at left back or wing back for the Netherlands. And with the Dutchman’s confidence increasing with every game, Shaw’s inability to find fitness when opportunity knocks could be a “sliding doors” moment for his future career.
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