It was always going to take time for Luke Shaw to get back to his best after he suffered a double leg break last season.
The young left-back spent 10 months on the sidelines - he said he could hardly walk for half a year - following the gruesome injury he sustained against PSV Eindhoven in September 2015.
Not only were there physical scars, but mental ones too. Shaw visited a psychologist to help him overcome the injury.
“I was in shock, to be honest,” the 21-year-old told The Guardian. “The pain came later. I was just so upset because I knew I was going to be out for so long.
“You might have seen the picture where I had a tear coming down my face.”
Thankfully, Shaw is back healthy and looking to resume a career that was on a upward trajectory. Manchester United beat Chelsea to his signature in 2014, paying Southampton £30 million to make him the most expensive teenager in the world (a record that has since been broken).
Yet it’s quickly become clear, through his performances this season, still bears memories of that incident in the Philips Stadion.
There are claims that Shaw is a few pounds overweight, and he certainly looked sluggish in United’s 2-1 defeat to Fenerbahce on Thursday.
Michael Owen included Shaw in his list of players Jose Mourinho will have concerns about.
“I don’t know where Luke Shaw’s gone,” Owen, a pundit for BT Sport, said.
Owen added that there was a hope when Shaw arrived that Old Trafford that he would become the best left back in the world.
Based on this evening’s performance, Shaw is some way short of Marcelo, David Alaba and Jordi Alba’s level.
Yet Owen’s co-pundit, Paul Scholes, is of the belief that the young United defender will one day be hailed as Europe’s elite left back.
“I think he will be the best left back in the world at some point, he just needs to stay fit,” Scholes said. “The lad looks woefully short of games and match practise really.”
Scholes’ prediction may well come true. Yet folk on Twitter were quick to express their doubts.
Can Luke Shaw become the world's best left back? Let us know in the comments section below!
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