Manchester United fans will have raised a few eyebrows in the summer of 2014 when they signed an 18-year-old Luke Shaw for £30 million from Southampton.
The left-back impressed in his first season in the top flight and was regarded as one of the brightest, defensive prospects in the country, and thus earned his big-money move to Old Trafford.
There were doubts, though, over whether Shaw could ever justify his expensive price tag. Such figures are rarely mooted for defenders, particularly such inexperienced ones - only Rio Ferdinand has ever persuaded the Red Devils to part with such money for a defender, which he successfully justified.
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When Shaw joined the Red Devils, however, things looked on the up. A budding defender, seen as the future of England, playing for one of the giants of English football - it seemed like destiny.
This was until Shaw struggled for fitness in his debut campaign and thus failed to impress new manager Louis van Gaal.
Fast forward a year, though, and Shaw is back to his very best and has revealed his happiness at regaining form.
"To be honest I feel better than I did at Southampton,’ he said, according to the Daily Mail.
"Game-by-game I feel like I’m getting stronger, especially in training. I just want to keep it up now and pray there are no injuries".
Shaw's revelation is sure to delight United fans who will hope that their defensive acquisition can now prove his worth and cement his spot in their club's side and also for England.
Roy Hodgson seems set to give Shaw a run in the senior side, and if he is able to hold down that position then Shaw could well establish himself as the long-term successor to Ashley Cole.
Shaw went on to explain the reason for his new-found confidence.
"I think that is what knocked my confidence down, I never got fully fit. So whenever I was playing I wasn’t at my best and I didn’t feel at my best.
Now I am playing and I feel great. I trained before I went back to pre-season. That was a massive help to me".
"I think I read too much of it last year. I tend to ignore it now. There are always going to be highlights - especially for someone like me who went for so much money".
Confidence is high for Shaw, then, though he will ultimately be judged upon how well he and his team-mates can perform this season amidst their bid to challenge for the Premier League title.
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