Luke Shaw Credits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Resurrected His Career

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When Luke Shaw moved up to Manchester United from Southampton in 2014, his transfer fee of £27 million smashed the English record for a teenage footballer. It also began a stretch of his career that could only be described as a roller coaster ride.

The left back has been in out of favor, a first team regular and bench material, endured numerous injuries and been thrown under the bus by more than one manager. The leadership styles of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho just didn’t gel with Luke Shaw in the same manner that current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s methods do.

 

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Mourinho called out his performances and play on more than one occasion. Van Gaal publicly questioned his fitness and commitment. Solskjaer, on the other hand, seems to have a better understanding of the 24-year-old English international.

“He’s helped me a lot on the pitch, but more so he’s been one of the biggest influences off the pitch too, with the way he handles players,” said Shaw in an interview with the club’s official app.

“He knows what players need. I had a difficult couple of years before he came in – I think maybe he realised that and knew what I needed. He’s really helped me off the pitch. He obviously believes in me, he tells me that.”

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Sometimes the more supportive approach works much better than the stricter, tough love methods. He’s the consistent first choice left back right now, and he’s already featured almost as many times under Solskjaer as he did during all of the Mourinho era.

He’s seen a lot more playing time under OGS than he did under LVG. He just seems to have a much better rapport with the Norwegian; and his off-the-pitch relationship is better too.

“We also get on really well and that’s a key thing – your relationship off the pitch,” Shaw added.

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“I know he’s the manager, and we all have massive respect for him, but it’s also important to have a nice relationship off the pitch too sometimes, when things aren’t too serious.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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