Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told Luke Shaw to continue the improvement that earned an England recall, while warning reports over a new contract for Anthony Martial are not entirely accurate.
Shaw and Martial were on the fringes at Old Trafford in 2017-18 but the left-back has had a productive start to the new Premier League season despite United’s two defeats from three matches.
The defender has even taken team-mate Ashley Young’s place in the England squad, earning a recall after more than a year away from international action.
Mourinho was full of praise for the 23-year-old but warned Shaw to continue his upward trajectory, starting at Burnley on Sunday.
“It’s been a big week for him that ends with a very important match against Burnley, this is the most important thing,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.
“He played three very good matches and it’s not easy when your team loses two, but he had that balance and consistency that even when the team didn’t win, especially at Brighton where they didn’t play well he kept the consistency, and that’s important.
“If next week his manager [Gareth Southgate] decides to give him minutes that’d be good for him and the good results of the hard work and many people who work with him at different levels and try to make him a proper football player, a player of consistency.
“He’s physically and mentally stronger, tactically with a better understanding. We are very, very happy with him, to go to the national team after three matches is a very extraordinary feeling.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 13, 2018
Martial has been less involved than Shaw, playing only 60 minutes in this season’s Premier League, but reports have indicated the forward will soon sign a new long-term contract.
Mourinho and Martial have not always had the best relationship, with the manager unhappy the France international missed part of United’s pre-season tour of the United States to attend the birth of his child.
But Mourinho indicated contract talks are progressing well and a formal announcement over a Martial renewal could be on the way.
“Martial – we have to wait for it to be official,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday. “At this moment it is not official.”
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