Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has told Luke Shaw that he wants him to be fit by the time the Europa League final rolls around in May.
United will restart their European campaign this month with a two-legged tie against Danish side Midtjylland, and the Dutchman hopes that United can go all the way in order for the 20-year-old to make an appearance in the final at St. Jakob’s Park in Basel.
Shaw has been named in the Europa League squad, despite continuing to be on the sidelines recovering from a broken leg sustained against PSV Eindhoven in September.
The Red Devils will certainly have a tough road ahead of them if they want to make that final, but van Gaal has already spoken to Shaw about the prospect of making his return in that final, adding that it is an incentive to speed up Shaw’s rehabilitation process.
Speaking to MUTV, he said:
He could play in the final, eh? Maybe you don’t think that but it’s still possible that Shaw could play in that final. I have said that to him.
You never know. Still, it is halfway [through the recovery]. It can slow down, his rehabilitation, so we have to wait and see.
Shaw had been one of United’s best performers at the start of the season before it was cruelly cut short during that fateful night in Eindhoven, after PSV defender Hector Moreno flew in with a dangerous tackle in the penalty area.
Recent reports suggested that the left-back could be back in a red shirt as early as next month, although van Gaal’s comments seem to have cooled those expectations.