MANCHESTER, England — Luke Shaw’s recall to the England squad is a result of the Manchester United defender becoming a “proper football player,” according to Jose Mourinho.
Shaw was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for games against Spain and Switzerland on Thursday after a run of three straight starts for Mourinho’s side.
The United manager has backed the 23-year-old’s inclusion and suggested he is benefitting from finding some consistency after two years on the sidelines.
“In this moment he is feeling the good results of the hard work and the good results of many people that work with him and try to make him a proper football player because a proper football player is a player of consistency,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.
“Mentally and physically he is stronger. Tactically he has a better understanding and we are very happy for him.”
Mourinho was full of praise for Shaw’s performance during the 3-0 defeat to Tottenham on Monday but said he was even more impressed with his display against Brighton because the team had not played well.
“He played three very good matches and it is not easy to play three very good matches when your team loses them,” said Mourinho.
“He had that balance and consistency when the team didn’t win, especially against Brighton he kept that consistency.
“If next week his manager decides to give him minutes against Spain or Switzerland that will be obviously very good for him.”
Shaw is set to retain his place in the team when United visit Burnley on Sunday but Phil Jones will drop out after he limped off with a hamstring injury against Tottenham.
Diogo Dalot and Sergio Romero will return from injury for the under-23s when they play Stoke at Old Trafford on Friday while Marcos Rojo is nearing a comeback after returning to training on Wednesday.
“Jones is injured, as you can imagine,” Mourinho told MUTV ahead of the trip to Turf Moor. “Dalot and Romero will play in an U23s match, which is a first match for them after knee surgeries and they need that a little bit but it’s good news for them because after that it’s the international break and then, after that, they’ll be in a real condition to play.
“Marcos Rojo started training with the team a couple of days ago. He’s not ready for this match but he is training with the team.”
Mourinho was also asked about the prospect of Anthony Martial signing at new contract.
The Frenchman has been unsettled this summer but ESPN FC reported on Wednesday that he will consider the offer of a new five-year deal to extend his stay at Old Trafford.
“With Martial you have to wait for that to be official because in this moment it is not official,” said Mourinho.