EPL defender Luke Shaw hailed Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for rejuvenating his career. After securing a big-money move from EPL side Southampton in 2014, Shaw's career stagnated due to a combination of injuries and poor form.
“A massive one. He's helped me a lot on the pitch, but more so he's been one of the biggest influences off the pitch too, with the way he handles players."
"I had a difficult couple of years before he came in; I think maybe he realised that and knew what I needed. He’s really helped me off the pitch. He obviously believes in me, he tells me that. That’s the confidence you need as a player: to have the manager believe in you.”
The EPL star struggled under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. While injuries got the better of him under the Dutchman, he failed to earn Mourinho trust in the Portuguese manager's 18-month stint at Old Trafford.
EPL star Luke Shaw hails 'massive influence' Solskjaer
Shaw, however, has been in fine form in the EPL this season and has been a reliable performer for the Red Devils. The England international praised his teammates and acknowledged the impact Solskjaer has had since replacing Mourinho in December 2018.
“There really is a great feeling about this group of lads now. That has been the case for a while. I've seen a lot of changes during my time at United and I have to say that Ole has been responsible for a large amount of the improvements around the place."
Shaw's EPL tenure with Manchester United has been marred by injuries and inconsistent. However, the former Southampton left-back has earned Solskjaer's trust this season and has improved progressively in the Norwegian's tenure at the club.
“When he came in, he knew what was needed, what had to change to get things up and running again. He's signed people who aren't just good players, but also really good lads as well. They've integrated in the squad really well and brought a bit more energy and togetherness in the group.”
Solskjaer's impact of the pitch was also lauded by the Englishman, who has featured 49 times under the former Molde manager.
“We also get on really well, and that's a key thing: your relationship off the pitch. I know he's the manager, and we all have massive respect for him, but it's also important to have a nice relationship off the pitch too sometimes, when things aren't too serious.”
Manchester United were in blistering form before the EPL was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Red Devils were bolstered by the signing of Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes in January, who made an immediate impact at the club.
With the EPL expected to resume next month, Solskjaer and co will look to secure a top-four finish for a spot in next season UEFA Champions League.