Jose Mourinho explains why Luke Shaw didn't play for Man United against Watford

Jose Mourinho & Luke Shaw

For a while now, Luke Shaw has been someone who many people feel has all the attributes to develop into a world-class full-back.

The youngster joined Manchester United from Southampton in June 2014 for around £30 million, however he has played just 28 times in the Premier League since then.

Much of that is down to injuries, with a horrific leg-break forcing him to miss more than eight months of last season, however, despite being available, he seems to have fallen out of favour under new manager Jose Mourinho.

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Shaw started the first five games of the campaign and was Mourinho's first-choice left-back, but he hasn't featured in the league since October and his last appearance came on January 29 in United's 4-0 FA Cup win against Championship relegation battlers Wigan Athletic. 

The talented 21-year-old was left out of United's matchday squad again as they recorded a 2-0 home win over Watford, and following Saturday's game, Mourinho explained why he decided not to include the Englishman.

Mourinho explains why Shaw didn't play

The Portuguese coach stated, via Goal: "He (Shaw) has to work and wait, but Saturday (against Watford) I wanted one defender on the bench and the defender on the bench is somebody who can play more than one position.

"And (Matteo) Darmian can play left-back, right-back and would be an emergency central defender for us, so my choice was Darmian.

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"The only thing I can say is that Luke is working well. I do not have any problem and he is working well. He is fighting hard, there is no problem with him."

What next for Shaw?

Many, including lots of fans, regard Shaw to be the club's best left-back. Yet, during United's resurgence this season, Mourinho has opted for Darmian, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo ahead of him.

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The defender's situation strongly resembles that of Anthony Martial and especially Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who spent a significant period out of the team before coming in and making a huge impact in recent months.

On Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, Gary Neville told the likes of Shaw and Martial that Mourinho is challenging their credentials, and their future at Old Trafford will depend on whether or not they can prove their worth.

The former United captain said, via The Mirror: "With Mkhitaryan earlier in the season, there was something wrong between him and the manager and he wasn't quite in favour, but he has come in and has looked outstanding.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

"Martial has got to decide which way he wants to take it, as have a couple of others. Chris Smalling has come back into the team, having been criticised, and done well. Luke Shaw has got to determine how he wants to take it.

"What Jose Mourinho has decided to do is challenge these players and say 'are you good enough to play for this club? Have you got what it takes to go out there and deliver week in and week out?'"

Given United's busy upcoming fixture list and the fact that they're still in four competitions, it surely won't be too long until Shaw is restored to the side and establishes himself as a first-team regular once again, but only time will tell.

Do YOU think Shaw deserves more playing time under Mourinho at Man Utd? Leave YOUR opinion in the comments box below!

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