Manchester United legend-turned-pundit Rio Ferdinand feels Jose Mourinho is testing Luke Shaw mentally as the Englishman fights for his future at Old Trafford.
The left-back has made a solitary appearance for the Red Devils this term, coming as a second-half substitute in the 4-1 League Cup win over Championship side Burton Albion.
Shaw has since missed out on the matchday squad for the games against Southampton and CSKA Moscow, and it was a similar case on Saturday afternoon as United triumphed over Crystal Palace by a 4-0 scoreline.
Mourinho has previously urged Shaw to show improvement in training to match the squad regularly, and according to Ferdinand, the self-proclaimed Special One is testing the mentality of the under pressure left-back.
He told BT Sport: “It looks like he is testing them mentally. Hit them with something — are you going to stay down or are you going to get up and fight? If you get up then he says yes, that’s the type of man I want in my team. As players, that’s what you want in your team. You don’t want players who will get one hit and shy away from things.”
Shaw was named as the Premier League’s best left-back during the 2013/14 season after which he sealed his move to United from Southampton in a £30m deal. However, injuries have since hampered his playing time, and he has been limited to just 20 senior appearances under Mourinho.
The 22-year-old’s current deal was due to expire at the end of the current season, but according to ESPN, United have taken the option of activating a one-year extension via a clause in his contract.