Skip to main content

Neville hopes Shaw is on to something special after first United goal

Gary Neville hopes Luke Shaw's first Manchester United goal in Friday's Premier League win over Leicester City is the "start of something special" after a difficult few years at Old Trafford.

Shaw emerged as a promising prospect at Southampton and enjoyed two strong seasons with Saints in the Premier League before joining United in 2014 for £35million, making him the most expensive teenager ever at the time.

After his first season in Manchester passed with little fanfare, Shaw started 2015-16 well before a double leg fracture against PSV in the Champions League in September ended his season prematurely.

The two following seasons were disrupted by further niggling injuries and fitness problems, while Jose Mourinho's public criticism of him last term prompted talk of Shaw being sold. 

But he impressed in the club's first league game of the season on Friday, scoring what proved to be the winner with his first ever senior goal, and former United right-back Neville is hopeful for the 23-year-old's future.

Speaking on his self-titled Sky Sports podcast, Neville said: "We've seen quite a lot of these young English players.

"There's been quite a few at Arsenal, if you think of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, and Ross Barkley is another – the talent is there, the potential is there and it's whether they can mature and become a real player.

See more

"Those questions are still being asked about Luke Shaw. I have no doubt over his talent or potential having worked with him, he's a special left-back when he's fit, on form and confident.

"However, Manchester United's a tough place to play. You've got to be there every single minute of every single day and you've got to have the right mentality.

"He came in on Friday and had a couple of difficult moments in the game, but to score the goal he did will be a big moment for him.

"From a personal point of view, having been scrutinised about his fitness and other things, you hope he can take this opportunity because Manchester United do not have a plethora of left-backs.

"I know Ashley Young is playing there, but Shaw must be looking at that and thinking the space is still there to jump into. You hope that it's the start of something special for him."