Luke Shaw has admitted that he once contemplated a departure from Manchester United.
The left-back moved to Old Trafford at an early age after breaking through with Southampton. However, it has taken him some time to consolidate himself in the United first team.
Shaw is finally proving his worth this season, responding well to the addition of competition for his place in the shape of Alex Telles.
The England international has kept the summer signing out of the team. Shaw has started 17 games in the Premier League this season, providing four assists.
It hasn’t always been this good for Shaw at United. He particularly struggled under the management of Jose Mourinho.
Now, the 25-year-old has reflected on that period of his career, explaining why he found Mourinho’s regime so tough.
“It was very difficult because I think sometimes I wasn’t able to get my word across,” Shaw told BBC Sport.
“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.”
Shaw could have left
The defender continued: “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.”