Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw has admitted he had a difficult time at the club when he wasn’t playing as regularly under previous manager Jose Mourinho.
The England international has been in fine form of late, and looks a player reborn under current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but there were times not that long ago when his Old Trafford career looked in serious doubt.
Speaking about it now to BBC Sport, Shaw seemed to strongly hint that he considered leaving, before backtracking slightly and suggesting it was more that others might have speculated about his future.
“Yeah it was very difficult because I think sometimes I wasn’t able to get my word across,” Shaw said of his time under Mourinho.
“A lot of people were behind me here [at Manchester United] so I knew I had that sort of backing.
“But I just needed to keep quiet and put my head down.
“A lot of people were saying a lot of negative stuff about me.
“I just look back at it as a learning curve and something that’s improved me as a person off the pitch, not just on the pitch.
“It was a very hard time a couple of years back when I wasn’t even playing, wasn’t even involved.
“I always believed in myself – I think there were times where maybe I looked at… or people were thinking, ‘Maybe he could leave’.
“But like I said, I always believed that one day I’d be able to fight my way back and get into the team and show people what my qualities are.
“I feel like I’m starting to do that now, but there’s still much more to come I think.”
United fans will be glad Shaw stayed at the club and fought for his place, which he’s done well to keep this season in particular with the presence of summer signing Alex Telles.
The Brazilian left-back shone at Porto before earning his move to Man Utd last summer, and many may well have expected him to replace Shaw in Solskjaer’s starting XI.
Credit to Shaw for knuckling down and improving his game to keep his place in the side.