Luke Shaw just admitted Manchester United have a problem that everybody is talking about

Sometimes football players produce the best quotes when they’re on international duty.

They are away from club commitments and can speak freely, just as Manchester United defender Luke Shaw did after England’s game against Iceland at the weekend.

“No one knows the situation, what’s been happening,” said Shaw about his injuries. “I think people have seen there was a setback, but I was actually very close to returning to team training. I was, of course, pushing to try and get back for the games and the final and I think I pushed too hard.

“I came back too quick and I actually ended up getting another injury in my hamstring, which was three weeks from the final and they said it was a six-week injury.”

A candid Shaw continued: “So that’s why there was that setback. I think people have been getting confused about what’s actually happened because nothing had been said. I got a few people coming up to me, saying: ‘How can you not be fit for United but fit for England?’

“But the circumstances were that I did push to do everything I can to be fit for United, and that’s been really my whole season. It’s been disappointing for me. But I want to do everything I can, first and foremost, for United. It’s better for me to come out and say what happened.

“I think there were a lot of questions over how I could be here and not United. That’s been playing on my mind a little bit because I don’t want people thinking that that’s what I’m doing.”

The last time Shaw appeared for United was against Luton Town on February 18. After being replaced during the game’s halftime, this correspondent claimed a few days later that Erik ten Hag and the medical team had mishandled him and shouldn’t have let him play.

Shaw was a precautionary substitution against Aston Villa at halftime just a week prior to the match against Luton, therefore it was unwarranted to start him at Kenilworth Road.

Shaw was cleared to play against Luton after failing a late fitness test, but he was sidelined for the rest of the season due to another setback. While playing for England, Shaw said that the medical staff at United shouldn’t have approved his entry.

“I felt something against Aston Villa and came off at half-time at Villa Park,” he said. “It’s kind of ­everyone’s fault. Partly my fault, partly medical staff, I think everyone would admit that.

“I didn’t train the whole week. The scan came back and there wasn’t too much there. But I didn’t train all week, then trained the day before the game. If the manager asks me to play, I’m never going to say no. I shouldn’t have played.”

Shaw made just 12 starts in the Premier League last season and his prolonged absence was one of many factors that contributed to a bleak campaign for United in the top flight.

Tyrell Malacia and Shaw, United’s veteran left-backs, were absent for the majority of the season. There were more than sixty distinct instances of illness or injury that Ten Hag had to deal with, making the defensive options especially vulnerable.

A decision about Ten Hag’s future is expected to be made by INEOS after an end-of-season review that examined the squad’s injury crisis that plagued Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

When Ten Hag was hired from Ajax, he didn’t bring a fitness coach with him to Manchester, and there have been questions about how hard his training sessions are in light of injuries.

While there is some merit to the Dutchman’s role in the previous season’s injury crisis and some degree of unluck to be taken into account, the club’s medical staff bears the majority of the blame for the season’s lack of success due to injuries; personnel adjustments are required.

In September, Gary O’Driscoll left Arsenal to join United as head of sports medicine, and in the coming months, Jordan Reece, another former Arsenal employee, is expected to join as head physiotherapist.

Former head physio Robin Sadler left United in February as part of O’Driscoll’s restructuring. United has made an effort to bolster its medical department, and if Ten Hag is fired and a new manager takes over with some of his personnel, then more changes may be implemented.

On the evidence of last season, an overhaul of the medical department is overdue.

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