Luke Shaw: Manchester United defender concerns Phil Neville

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Luke Shaw: Manchester United defender concerns Phil Neville

Ex-Manchester United defender Phil Neville believes there is “something fundamentally wrong” with Luke Shaw that has forced manager Jose Mourinho to publically criticise him.

Neville scouted Shaw for United when he was at Southampton, believing the full-back, 21, would would become a star at Old Trafford.

But the £27m signing has played only three times since the end of November.

The England player says he will “fight to the last second” to prove himself.

Shaw came off the bench in Tuesday’s Premier League 1-1 draw with Everton and won the late penalty that salvaged a point for the home side.

Mourinho, who had criticised the player’s commitment and focus earlier in the week, did praise him – but also commented on his lack of “a football brain”, adding: “I was making every decision for him.”

Neville told: “When Luke Shaw signed for Manchester United I was probably involved in the process of scouting him and recommending him as a player because I thought he would be a Manchester United left-back for the next 10 years. You would think he would be a sensational player, but he just hasn’t done it.

“I know he’s suffered an injury but there must be something fundamentally wrong if the manager is questioning your attitude, training performances, desire. That from a 21-year-old with the world at your feet, you think maybe this is the last throw of the dice from Jose to try and get something out of Luke Shaw that he knows is in there.”

Neville said his Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson “would have probably dealt with it in a similar way to Jose” though “probably not as much publically”.

He added: “Behind the scenes he [Ferguson] would have been giving him the full barrels and leaving him in no doubt that if you don’t meet those standards, go and play for somebody else.”

“Jose’s probably tried this behind closed doors and this is the last throw of the dice. To speak poorly about one of his own players, he must be absolutely at his wits end.”

‘I love this club and will give everything to be here’

Full-back Shaw, meanwhile, is determined to meet the challenge of becoming a United player.

“I will fight to the last second because I want to be here for the club,” he said.

Shaw met Mourinho on Monday morning to clarify his position.

It is not known what was said but the defender feels he still has a future at Old Trafford.

“I am keeping my head up,” he said. “I love this club and will give everything to be here.

“I am going through a phase where everything is sort of going against me. But I want this so badly. I want to prove everyone wrong.

“The stuff that has been going on is hard for me to take because deep down that is not me as a person.”

‘Eight new signings and a Jose team’

Neville feels Mourinho has similarly given plenty of chances to his squad, who lie sixth in the Premier League table, four points and two places behind Manchester City who hold the final Champions League qualifying spot.

They could still qualify for the lucrative Champions League by winning the Europa League.

Neville, who spent a decade at United as a player, said many members of the squad seemed nervous at home, which had played a part in them drawing nine games at Old Trafford.

“If anything goes drastically wrong and they are knocked out of the Europa League or struggle to qualify in the top four, I think Jose Mourinho will make major changes,” added Neville.

“He’s given this team a year now to prove themselves: the Chris Smallings, the Phil Jones, the Marcos Rojos, the Daley Blinds of this world – if they don’t perform from now until the end of the season I think you’ll see six, seven, maybe eight new signings in the summer and a real Jose Mourinho-type team picked.”