After becoming the most expensive teenager in world soccer this summer and joining Manchester United, you’d think that Luke Shaw would be on cloud nine right now.
If he was, new United boss Louis van Gaal has brought him crashing back down to earth with a bang.
[EXCLUSIVE: Shaw on United move]
After chatting with reporters ahead of United’s game with Inter Milan, which you can watch live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, van Gaal said that Shaw is not fit enough “to do what I want” and that he will “train individually until he is fit.” So, the youngest player to play at the 2014 World Cup, who played in just one game in Brazil, is apparently not fit enough and he was forced to train on his own away from the rest of the squad in Washington D.C. on Monday.
According to the Guardian, here is van Gaal’s take on Shaw’s fitness in full.
“He is OK, but I am always a trainer-coach who sees individuals and what they need. He needs to be fit and is not very fit and fit enough to do what I want. He needs to train individually until he is fit.” van Gaal said. “I cannot judge that [why Shaw’s fitness has dropped], but I see what I see. I have spoken with him and we have made a programme for him. He agreed with me. How long? That we have to see, but that I don’t know,” said Van Gaal. “I have heard good messages from Strud [Tony Strudwick, fitness coach] but we have to see.”
Shaw, 19, is apparently on board with this extra training on his own but he is hardly going to disagree with van Gaal and all this being stated by his new manager on the record has to be hurting Shaw’s pride. Van Gaal has already lambasted his teams performance against AS Roma, despite winning 3-2 last time out, and is whipping the Red Devils into shape mercifully this summer on their U.S. tour.
It seems as though the former Southampton youngster is being made an example of to let everyone know what is expected at Old Trafford under LVG’s new regime. He doesn’t accept slackers or anything less than 100 percent effort. Shaw was deployed at left wing back during United’s preseason opener against the LA Galaxy last week and had a slightly shaky outing after failing to impact the game in a role further forward than he’s used to.
The extra fitness work will likely be sculpted around playing in that new role of left wing back instead of left back, but in the past there were rumors that Shaw was unfit at Saints and that there were concerns over how he would progress as a player.
Looks like van Gaal has spotted something he doesn’t like and he’s letting everyone, including Shaw, know about it,