Luke Shaw handed another major snub despite Jose Mourinho's words of encouragement
Luke Shaw’s hopes of finding a route back into the Manchester United first team squad have taken another hammer blow after he was omitted from Jose Mourinho’s squad for the Europa League game against Saint-Etienne on Wednesday.
Shaw trained with his United team-mates on Tuesday morning at the club’s Carrington training base, with the return leg of the last-32 tie in Paris appearing to be the ideal platform for the full-back to make a return to the first team fold.
With United leading 3-0 and Mourinho looking to make changes to his team ahead of Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton at Wembley on Sunday, Shaw may have expected to play a role in France.
Yet those hopes have been dashed as United flew out of Manchester without the 21-year-old who has yet to convinced Mourinho that he can be relied upon in his starting line-up.
Despite his latest snub, Mourinho has vowed not to sell Shaw last weekend, as he insisted he would not consider selling the player at the end of this season.
“What I think is that he had a very ugly injury, really, really ugly,” Mourinho told reporters.
“That the facts are not just the physical point of view, but also by the mental impact so this season he has had a couple of small injuries and he needs to adapt.
“He knows what I like in a defender, he knows that I like stability, that I don’t like mistakes, that for me it is to trust a player totally and he has to work to get it.
“Sometimes people forget he is only a young player with a lot to learn but I like the player and I like the boy.”
Despite those encouraging words from Mourinho, it is hard to see Shaw remaining at United into next season if he cannot even force his way into what may be a second string team defending a comfortable lead in a Europa League tie.
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney will not be making a first team return against Saint-Etienne after he was also left out of the United travelling squad after some recent injury concerns.
That must cast a huge doubt over the fitness of the United captain ahead of the Wembley date against Southampton on Sunday.