Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that Luke Shaw will be given more chances to play this season after describing the maligned full-back's performance in his first start in over 200 days as 'very positive'.
Shaw saw a disappointing 2016/17 campaign end prematurely due to injury, with persistent fitness problems resulting in just two substitute appearances in the Carabao Cup four months into the new season, until he was named in the line-up against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night.
The 22-year-old, the most expensive teenager in the world when he signed from Southampton in the summer of 2014, has had to contend with endless speculation about his Old Trafford future in recent months, but played 90 minutes in the win over the Russian visitors.
"A very positive performance, especially with the balls going forward," Mourinho commented in his post-match press conference (ManUtd.com).
"Creating a lot, great intensity in his game. It was no surprise that in 80 minutes he's feeling the consequences of that intensity; it's normal as it's the first match of the season for him. But he's going to get more," the United boss added.
In further post-game comments to BT Sport, Mourinho offered insight into just why Shaw has been absent missing from the line-up.
"He was waiting for quite a long time, he was deserving [of his chance] for quite a long time. It's not easy to give an opportunity to a player who doesn't play for many months in matches where the team really needs [a] result," the Portuguese explained.
"I wanted to make changes but changes in players that needed it and not spend a change on Luke. But he managed 90 minutes and really I told him this is not the best, this is just an opportunity for you to play and to improve your level. Honestly, I am happy with his performance."
Ashley Young is likely to be back in the United team on the left flank come Sunday when Manchester City make the short trip to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby, but Shaw will take confidence from his outing and fans will hope he can finally start fulfilling his vast potential.