Manchester: Manchester United defender Luke Shaw believes he has a body type similar to that of the club’s former striker Wayne Rooney and said criticism of his body and conditioning was unwarranted.
Shaw has been criticised on multiple occasions by United boss Jose Mourinho and his predecessor Louis van Gaal over perceived weight and fitness issues, with fans and pundits also piling on.
“Of course people can say I’m fat, but I know my own body,” Shaw told British media. “I always look big because I’m bigger built and I have, you could say, a Wayne Rooney type of body.”
Despite Mourinho’s public criticism of Shaw, the England international said the Portuguese manager texted him in the off-season to spur him on.
“It was a breath of fresh air when he texted me,” he added.
I always look big because I’m bigger built and I have, you could say, a Wayne Rooney type of body.”
- Luke Shaw | United defender
“I wasn’t expecting it ... I spoke to him and it was really positive. It made me feel confident about the upcoming season.
“I was unsure going into the summer what was really happening. But unless something changes dramatically, and the manager says I’m not in his plans, I’ll be a Manchester United player.
“I want to play football. I’m not just here to pick up my salary and do nothing. I’m young, I’m still 23 and still have a very long career. I want to play. One thing is for sure, I’m much fitter, more confident, and a different person than I was last season.”
Shaw has featured in all three of United’s pre-season fixtures so far and will be hoping to hold on to his spot when the club play league rivals Liverpool in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.