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Manchester United defender "partly" blames medical staff for injury nightmare

Man United defender
© Reuters
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw says that the Red Devils' medical staff are "partly" to blame for the injury that almost extinguished his Euro 2024 dreams.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has said that the Red Devils' medical department are "partly" responsible for the injury that nearly scuppered his chances of representing England at Euro 2024.

The 28-year-old's career has been blighted by physical problems ever since his horrific leg break in 2015, although he has still managed to become an integral figure for both club and country.

The 2023-24 season was another frustrating one for the former Southampton left-back, though, as he was restricted to just 15 appearances across all competitions, including 12 Premier League starts.

Shaw firstly missed 16 matches from August to November with a muscular problem, and at the start of February, he only lasted until half time in a 2-1 victory away to Aston Villa, where Victor Lindelof filled in as a makeshift full-back for the second 45.

With long-term absentee Tyrell Malacia already out of contention, Shaw was surprisingly given the green light to start against Luton Town seven days later, but lightning struck twice for the Englishman as he came off during the break once again.

Manchester United's Luke Shaw walks off the pitch to be substituted due to injury on February 18, 2024© Reuters

Shaw admits he 'shouldn't have played' Luton game

The muscular problem that Shaw sustained against Luton was serious enough to rule him out for the remainder of the season, forcing him to miss Man United's FA Cup final success over Manchester City, although he was still named in England's preliminary Euro 2024 squad.

However, Gareth Southgate admitted at the time that Shaw would be a "long shot" for the tournament, and he was unsurprisingly not involved in either of the Three Lions' warm-up matches against Bosnia-Herzegovina or Iceland.

Nevertheless, the Man United man survived the cull and was selected to be part of Southgate's 26 for the final tournament, with fellow injury victim Harry Maguire, Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite and Liverpool's Jarell Quansah getting the chop instead.

It remains to be seen whether Shaw is able to play any part in the tournament, and speaking to The Guardian ahead of the Euros, the 28-year-old said that both he and the medical staff were at fault for his premature end to the season.

"I felt something against Aston Villa and came off at half-time at Villa Park. It's kind of ­everyone's fault. Partly my fault, partly medical staff, I think everyone would admit that," Shaw said.

West Ham United's Mohammed Kudus in action with Manchester United's Luke Shaw on December 23, 2023© Reuters

"I didn't train the whole week. The scan came back and there wasn't too much there. But I didn't train all week, then trained the day before the game. If the manager asks me to play, I'm never going to say no. I shouldn't have played."

What other Euro 2024 left-back options do England have?

It has been a full 12 months since Shaw last made an appearance for his country, and with Chelsea's Ben Chilwell also out of contention, England could be without a recognised left-back for their opening Euro 2024 tie with Serbia on June 16.

Newcastle United's Kieran Trippier filled in against Bosnia and Iceland and is seemingly Southgate's first-choice alternative, although Liverpool's Joe Gomez impressed in that position when called upon in the domestic campaign.

Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa is the only other viable option, having briefly been trialled in that role in the win over Bosnia, but the 26-year-old is far more comfortable out on the right or in the heart of defence.

England were handed two further defensive injury scares over John Stones and Marc Guehi in Friday's loss to Iceland, but Southgate provided a reassuring update after the game.

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