Luke Shaw is set to spend another significant chunk of time on the sidelines.
Does this mean his Manchester United career is over?
[ MORE: Analyzing Mourinho-Shaw episode ]
Reports are circulating that Shaw, 21, has suffered serious damage to ligaments in his foot and it is feared he will now be out all summer and will also miss the start of next season.
After receiving his scan results back Shaw is reportedly seeing a specialist to assess the damage which occurred early on in United’s 1-1 draw with Swansea City at Old Trafford on Sunday. Shaw was replaced by Antonio Valencia after nine minutes as he hobbled off the hallowed turf.
It could well be the last time he graces the Theatre of Dreams as a United player.
Following plenty of public criticism from Jose Mourinho about not only his injury issues but also his tactical capacity to play the game, it appeared that Shaw was turning the corner in recent weeks with some solid displays at left back as United reached the UEFA Europa League semifinals and got themselves back in the top four hunt.
However, Shaw’s latest injury appears to be his biggest setback since the double leg fracture he suffered in September 2015 which kept him out until the start of this season.
The England international has had several smaller injuries as his road back to full fitness has been littered with ailments and the latest comes at the worst possible time.
With his manager already growing impatient with his lack of progression tactically, plus his physical issues, alongside some of his other teammates, it appears Shaw’s future at United is now more uncertain than ever. Mourinho has played Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, has the versatile Timothy Fosu-Mensah around and even played Ashley Young at left back. Mourinho has also experimented with a back three which also worked well and has plenty of other options besides playing Shaw.
The attack-minded left back simply seems surplus to requirements at United and it has seemed that way ever since Mourinho walked through the door last summer. Even after impressing Louis Van Gaal at the start of the 2015-16 season, you can’t forget that Shaw struggled massively in his first full season at Old Trafford and he is slipping dangerously towards being placed in the “too much, too young” category.
Shaw will now be playing catch-up all summer long and despite vowing to prove Mourinho wrong to regain his form and fitness, things are now out of his hands.
Once the most expensive teenager on the planet when he signed for United in the summer of 2014 for $45 million, Shaw’s star has fallen drastically through fitness concerns and inconsistent form during a transitional period at Manchester United.
After racking up a 25-game unbeaten run, plus with two chances to qualify for the Champions League still alive, it appears Mourinho is turning this humongous ship around and will have huge sums of cash to spend this summer on more new players.
When United move into smoother waters and push on next season it seems increasingly likely that Shaw won’t be on that voyage.