Luke Shaw believes Jose Mourinho has never wanted to sell him at Manchester United, but admits he has left his manager frustrated at times.
The 23-year-old left-back has seen his future at Old Trafford called into question on a regular basis over recent years, with each passing transfer window bringing a fresh round of rumours.
He has been able to see off the speculation and enjoyed a welcome return to form in 2018-19 after working hard to recover peak fitness.
Shaw’s efforts have earned praise from Mourinho and a recall to the England squad, with the highly-rated defender convinced that he was always going to be given time to get things right.
He told reporters ahead of a potential return to the Three Lions side in a friendly clash with Spain on Saturday: “He [Mourinho] put his trust in me at the start of the season. I think at times if he didn’t trust me it would’ve been easy for him to say he wanted to sell me.
“I think he always believed in me and I always believed in myself and just needed to get back to what I needed to do. He’s played a big part but I’ve done a lot too to get back into his team and earn his trust back.”
Shaw added on a battle to prove his worth to Mourinho: “It’s been a tough two years but mentally it’s made me stronger and made me want to prove to him that I can do what sometimes in the last couple of seasons he said I couldn’t.
“I’m feeling positive and feeling good and focused on what’s to come.
“I think at times he got frustrated with me because he knew I could do better. Maybe he was right but I don’t want to keep focusing on that.
“We had a chat before the season and he said he wanted me to stay. That motivated me a lot and obviously I’ve come back and played games in pre-season and got my fitness fully and everything is good.”
Shaw’s return to prominence has helped to solve United’s issues in a problematic position, with the likes of Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young having been used as makeshift left-backs in recent seasons.
The former Southampton man said of the challenges he has faced: “I’ve always believed in myself. I’ve had hard times but to be the best, you’ve got to be professional.
“That’s what I’ve learnt and especially from the staff at Manchester United, I’ve learnt a lot.
“I just need to look forward now, keep professional, keep training hard, keep improving myself as a player, keep doing what I’m doing at the moment.”