Ashley Young has defended Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho over his treatment of Luke Shaw, and backed the defender to become one of the world’s best.
Mourinho’s handling of Shaw has again been questioned after he substituted the left-back at half-time in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Brighton and Hove Albion, before singling the player out for public criticism.
The pair’s relationship has appeared strained for some time, with Young – nominally a winger – often preferred over the former Southampton man on the left side of United’s defence.
However, Young has now called for Shaw to work harder if he is to fulfil his potential, telling BBC Sport: “He’s a fantastic player. I want to see Luke do well.
“He just has to get his head down and work. I feel he can be one of the best in the world.”
And Young, speaking while on international duty with England, then backed Mourinho’s actions with Shaw, claiming his methods cannot be questioned.
“The manager has been successful at every club he’s been at,” he said. “I don’t think he would have been that successful if he didn’t know how to handle players.
“We know as players we go out onto the training pitch and work hard but, when you can, he has a laugh and joke. He’s got both sides to him and that’s the best way for a manager to be.”
— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw23) March 12, 2018
Southampton great Matt Le Tissier is among those concerned with the way Shaw has been treated, saying Mourinho is “destroying” the England man.
“I think if Mourinho is still there then it is inevitable Shaw will leave this summer,” Le Tissier told Sky Sports. “I have no idea what he is trying to achieve.
“There is just a really strange relationship going on there and I don’t understand what he’s doing, because he’s just destroying the player at the moment.”
He added: “While there are players that this sort of approach can work with, I just don’t think Shaw is one of them.”
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