Manchester United full back Luke Shaw has dismissed suggestions that he is overweight, claiming that he naturally has a bulkier physique than some, and is not concerned by questions about his fitness.
Criticism was levelled at Shaw last season for his stockier than average build, and these comments have continued throughout United's pre-season tour of the United States, but Shaw says that he is not concerned.
“People can say I’m fat but I know my own body,” the 23-year-old told the Guardian. “I always look big because I’m bigger built – I’ve got that Wayne Rooney type of body.”
Pictures of Shaw on holiday emerged on social media earlier this summer, which led to criticism from United fans, who believed that he had not been keeping himself in shape during the off-season.
Shaw was asked if he had been working harder in the gym to try and prove his critics wrong.
“I worked hard and not just for them [critics],” he said. “I’m working harder than ever and in the first game I want to look 10 times better than in that picture.”
Shaw, who has featured in all three matches United have played in the USA, went a step further - claiming that he has never been overweight.
“I’ve been unlucky because I’ve had a few ups and downs with different managers but I would say I’ve never been out of shape," he said. "Honestly, I feel really good and I’m raring to go, and the minutes [on tour] are only going to help me become fitter.”
With Ashley Young still recovering from his World Cup exertions with England, Shaw is likely to start for United in the Premier League curtain-raiser against Leicester on 10 August.