Luke Shaw responds to criticism of his commitment to Man Utd amid Euro 2024 fitness race

Luke Shaw responds to criticism of his commitment to Man Utd amid Euro 2024 fitness race England Euro 2024 squad

England left-back Luke Shaw has opened up about this season’s injury struggles having been hurt by those questioning his commitment to Manchester United.

The 28-year-old has endured plenty of ups and downs during his decade at Old Trafford, where he says this was his “most frustrating season” to date having dealt with “injury after injury”.

Shaw was restricted to 15 appearances and last played in mid-February, yet positive rehab – and a paucity of left-back options – saw Gareth Southgate select him for this summer’s Euros.

“I’m definitely progressing much better than I think they thought, and me too,” the Euro 2020 final goalscorer said, “I don’t want to look too far ahead. Obviously, I’m very grateful for Gareth picking me and showing the faith that he has in me.

“You know, for me, it’s about repaying that and doing everything I can to try and get fit and try and help the team win this Euros.”

Shaw has yet to begin full training but has not given up on featuring in next Sunday’s group opener against Serbia, although Southgate says the second game against Denmark is more likely.

The England manager acknowledges he took a calculated gamble by selecting a player whose availability for his country this summer has led some to question his loyalty to United.

Shaw hit back at that talk in a social media post after missing their FA Cup final triumph and admitted after his Euros selection was confirmed that it has been “playing on my mind a little bit”.

“No one knows the situation, what’s been happening,” he said, “Obviously, I think people have seen that there was a setback, but I was actually very close to returning to team training. I think it was the day before.

“In my opinion, I was pushing to try and get back for the games and the final and I think I pushed too hard.

“I came back too quick and I actually ended up getting another injury in my hamstring, which was a (grade) 2c. That was three weeks from the final and they said it was a six-week injury, so that’s obviously why there was that setback.

“I think people have been getting confused with what’s actually happened because nothing had ever been said. That’s why I did my post. I got a few people coming up to me, saying, ‘how can you not be fit for United and (can) for England?’

“But the circumstances were that I did push to do everything I can to be fit for United, and that’s been really my whole season. It’s been disappointing for me, but I want to do everything I can, first and foremost, for United.

“That’s my club, I’ve been there for a long time but, of course, that wasn’t the case, so that was hard to obviously take in the last few weeks.

“But I’m here now and I’m still not there yet, I’ve still got a while to go, but I’m trying to do everything I can to make it happen.”

Shaw says his first thought when he suffered the setback was missing the end of United’s season and FA Cup final rather than potentially being ruled out of the Euros.

The left-back is now looking to move on and takes his share of blame, admitting “maybe at times, especially my first hamstring, could have been avoidable”.

“I felt something against Aston Villa and came off at half-time at Villa Park,” Shaw said of the issue that came a week before limping off at Luton – his last appearance on February 18.

“I think it’s kind of everyone’s fault. Partly my fault, partly medical staff, I think everyone would admit that.

“I didn’t train the whole week. The scan came back and there wasn’t too much there. But I didn’t train all week, then trained the day before the game.

“If the manager asks me to play, I’m never going to say no. I played and obviously I shouldn’t have played.”

Put to Shaw that only underlines his commitment to United, he said: “I’ve always said the team comes before everything for me. That will never change.”

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