The agent of Luke Shaw has said a lot of the criticism aimed at the full-back by old Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was “personal”.
Shaw has recently been recalled to the England squad and started the recent 2-0 win over Albania in Tirana. His form has been such for United this season that he is deemed to be in pole position to start at left-back for England at the Euros. However, his current form is a far cry from where he was at Old Trafford under Mourinho.
Shaw arrived with for £27m in 2014 with a glowing reputation. He struggled though to hit the ground running and the lowest part of his career was on the sidelines at Old Trafford while Mourinho was in charge.
In March 2018 Sky Sports News quoted a “source close to Shaw” voicing their strong disapproval with the left-back’s treatment and said in any other line of work “there would be a case for constructive dismissal”.
The pair are understood to have had a series of clashes, with Mourinho often going public on his criticism of the England man. The Portuguese boss said “he had a lot to learn” in 2016.
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Shaw did eventually get rewarded with a new contract, while Mourinho was at the helm.
The player has since admitted he considered leaving the club and his agent Jonathan Barnett says the criticism was “personal”.
“My job in that situation is to make sure the player’s spirits are kept up. We try behind the scenes to help them understand what’s gone wrong,” Barnett told The Athletic.
“A lot of it is personal. We had to rebuild his confidence, which we did. We took certain steps. But Luke is a very strong man. He never got too down.
“His family had to be there for him and we had to be there for him. We didn’t say, ‘You’ve got to leave Man United, we’ve got to go because we need to make money’. We didn’t force Luke Shaw out of Man United. He wanted to stay there. And that’s what he’s done. And today, he’s a great, great player.
“My company, for example, has two analysts who are considered to be some of the best in the world and have worked for some of the biggest football clubs in the world. We took them away (from those clubs) to work for us. Then we sit down with somebody like Luke Shaw and analyse his game for him, like a club would.
“This is a personal thing that we do for our players. We show him what he’s doing wrong or what he’s doing right.”