Jose Mourinho has taken another swipe at Luke Shaw, claiming the left-back’s “professionalism” has improved since his Manchester United sacking.
The pair had a fractious relationship during their time together at Old Trafford, with Mourinho having once bemoaned the way in which Shaw would “play with [his] brain” on the touchline.
He also repeatedly questioned the Englishman’s bravery, claiming “a little pain can make a difference” for him, with Shaw later admitting he endured a “very hard time” under Mourinho.
This season, though, the 25-year-old has silenced his critics, consistently producing outstanding performances as United finished runners-up in the Premier League.
Shaw’s renaissance has fired him back into contention for England, with many fans selecting him as the left-back in their first choice XIs.
Mourinho, though, has apparently been unable to shake off his grudge, saying he “wouldn’t think twice” about starting Ben Chilwell ahead of Shaw.
Speaking on talkSPORT, the soon-to-be Roma manager declared: “Left back I would go with Chilwell, I wouldn’t think twice.
“I know that he plays normally at Chelsea with five [in defence] but he is intelligent, he covers the space and the diagonals inside very well.
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“He is dangerous in attack, he is good in the air, he is good at set-pieces, he can defend well the possible long build-up from Croatia in the first phase.”
When asked why he omitted Shaw, Mourinho responded: “I think he has had a good season. Clearly an evolution in terms of emotion and professionalism.
“But I think Chilwell has something more, especially with the ball, the way he thinks and how he is calm under pressure. I like Chilwell.”
Elsewhere, Mourinho elected to leave out another of his former colleagues, Marcus Rashford, in attack. Instead, he chose Jack Grealish and Phil Foden to occupy the wide roles either side of Harry Kane.
Outlining the thought process behind this decision, Mourinho said: “Grealish is untouchable, the best position for Grealish is coming in from the left, which creates a situation for me because Rashford can only play there.
“When he plays on the right he is completely lost.”
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