Man Utd news: Paul Pogba blasts Luke Shaw critics after Leicester win | Football | Sport


The Manchester United defender has long been the subject of criticism, particularly over his weight and body shape.

Such comments emerged again earlier this summer after a picture of the 23-year-old topless while on holiday in Dubai did the rounds on social media.

Shaw’s development at Old Trafford has been stunted since a severe leg break having arrived at the club as the then-most expensive teenager ever from Southampton.

But Shaw – whose long-term future is uncertain with less than 12 months left on his contract – took a positive step forward  last night, scoring his first ever senior goal in a 2-1 opening-day win over Leicester City last night.

The England international will hope to use it as a springboard to revive his career and his standing under Jose Mourinho, having struggled for consistent minutes under the Portuguese.

And Pogba – who was also on the score-sheet against Leicester as he wore the captain’s armband – has supported his team-mate and slammed the abuse Shaw receives.

Speaking afterwards, Pogba said: “Luke is someone who works very hard in training. People criticise him and he didn’t have a lot of chances to play last season. 

“But every time he played, he did a great job and showed something great. 

“I think he deserves respect and people to be very happy about him. Look at his statistics, look at his game. 

“Look at them and don’t criticise because of his body or whatever. You saw today his personality. He did a great job and helped the team to win.”

Just last month, during United’s tour of the United States, Shaw addressed the ‘fat-shaming’ he has been on the end of – likening himself physically to United’s all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney.

He said: “I guess you’ve just got to take it, because there is always going to be negative criticism as well as positive. I think both of them can make you stronger. 

“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.

“People think, because of the way that I’m naturally built, I’m bigger than I am. Of course, people can say that I’m fat, but I know my own body.”

But Shaw proved with his performance against the Foxes that fitness is no issue as he looks to get back on track following a difficult few seasons on the periphery of United’s team and out of the England national team picture.

And speaking about his goal – his first in 134 games for Southampton and United since his first-team debut aged 16 in January 2012 – Shaw told United’s official website: “Honestly I can’t describe it, in front of the Stretford End, it’s the best feeling I’ve had. 

“I’m so proud and happy to be able to help the team. Hopefully I can push on forward and get many more [goals] and help the team out more.

“The hard work doesn’t stop here. I keep pushing myself because I want to become better and better and help the team out more.

“For me, pre-season wise the minutes were the most important thing. I was kind of disappointed with my performances in pre-season. I don’t think I was what I can be and I still think I can be better than I was tonight.

“But of course I’m very happy with how it started and now I’ll just push on from here and hopefully make many more memories like the ones tonight for me.”

Shaw faces Ashley Young for competition at left-back with the 33-year-old working his way back to full fitness after World Cup duty with England but will hope to start once again when Jose Mourinho’s men face Brighton in their next league game next Sunday (4pm).



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