Jose Mourinho says England defender Luke Shaw still has a future at Manchester United despite the full-back’s lack of opportunities and controversy surrounding his comments about Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
In the Spurs boss’s new autobiography, published this week, Shaw is quoted as saying he would relish the opportunity to play for his former Southampton manager again one day in the future.
Those comments, allied with his frustrating and injury-ravaged time under Mourinho at Old Trafford, have led to speculation that Shaw will find himself surplus to requirements under the United manager.
But Mourinho, whose side play fellow title challengers Tottenham at Old Trafford on Saturday, said while it will be difficult for Shaw, he does have a future under him.
“I would be very disappointed if his words were different,” Mourinho told the press on Friday at United’s Manchester training base.
“I am always disappointed when a player, because he has a new manager, the new manager becomes the best and the old manager becomes very bad, and football is full of examples of lack of character.
“Luke Shaw was just honest. The manager that helped him come to the first team, the manager that helped him develop in the best moment of his career, is the manager he doesn’t forget.”
Mourinho said the road back to a regular first-team spot would be tough for the 22-year-old.
“He has a future here but the situation is not easy because he comes from injury after injury after injury,” said United boss. “He needs two, three, four, five or six matches in a row to play, to make mistakes, to get condition, to get match fitness and I cannot give him that.
“If he was a central midfielder then yes, because we only have two but at left-back we have so many options, so the situation is not easy. But he is in the squad, he works and maybe the opportunity comes.”
The Pochettino book, “Brave New World”, also sees the Tottenham manager express his dissatisfaction that he caught midfield player Eric Dier talking and joking with Mourinho in the Old Trafford tunnel after Spurs lost there last season.
That led to Pochettino sitting down with his player to talk about his future as interest grew from United.
However, Mourinho insisted that he ultimately ended up with the player he wanted anyway — his former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, who signed in July.
“I have the player that I want to have, probably I have the player I didn’t think it was possible to have,” he said. “But we got the player I really wanted.”