Luke Shaw has had a difficult first season at Manchester United as a mountain of injuries have significantly hindered the amount of game-time he has had since his big-money move from Southampton last summer.
The 19-year-old has suffered groin, hamstring and ankle injuries during the 2014/15 campaign, but Louis van Gaal believes that he can still develop into a key player at United.
Shaw certainly has time on his side and has enough of it to make a success of his Old Trafford career, but it has definitely not been the start he was looking for.
His problems have seen England U21 manager Gareth Southgate omit him from his squad for this summer’s European Championship. It is a plus for both Shaw and United that Southgate did not take a risk on his fitness, which gives the left-back a full summer to return to full match sharpness and be fresh for the start of the new season.
Van Gaal was adamant that Shaw’s omission was a due to a valid medical reason and that he did not force Southgate’s hand. The Dutchman believes the youngster will benefit from the prolonged rest which will help his long-term development.
He told Sky Sports: “I have read I'm the winner of the debate, but that's not true because the winner is Luke Shaw. He is the winner because we have to develop great talents. Luke Shaw is a great talent.
“The most important thing is that Roy Hodgson, Gareth Southgate and the medical department of Manchester United and the manager of Manchester United are agreed and that we have to protect him and that he can develop that talent. Then maybe we can all benefit from that.”
Van Gaal also refused to comment on his current injury situation. When asked about Shaw’s latest injury, he continued: “I don't think we have to say everything. It's a medical question.”