Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his delight with Luke Shaw's progress in recent weeks and hinted that he has decided against signing a left-back after stressing there are only a few left-backs better than the England international.

An injury at the end of last season forced him to miss the pre-season and the start of this campaign. He failed to break into the first team after recovering from foot injury and was restricted to two substitute appearances in the Carabao Cup until November 2017.

Shaw made his first start of the season in United's 2-1 win over Cska Moscow in the Champions League clash in December 2017. He has played the full 90 minutes in the last five league matches in all competitions and has impressed with the process.

Not over a month ago, there were speculations surrounding the 22-year-old's future at Old Trafford and reports suggested that he will be offloaded in January. Shaw's current deal at United runs down after the end of the season and has an option to further extend it by a year.

IBTimes UK revealed in November last year that Shaw has no plans of leaving United in the January transfer window. The Portuguese tactician admitted that Shaw has been "playing well" since he forced his way into the starting XI.

"Luke [has done] very well. He was already improving and playing well when I started playing him after that long spell without minutes," Mourinho explained, as quoted by United's official website.

"I remember the first time he played [in the] Champions League [against CSKA Moscow] he was coming step by step and now, with a good run of matches and also with continuity and playing like he did, for example against Everton [on New Year's Day] two days after a previous match [against Southampton].

"[He was] good, solid, physically much better, mentally much stronger, tactically understanding much better the game and what we need from him in the different phases and circumstances. I'm really happy. You like the transfer market and I can say in this moment, I don't see many left-backs better than Luke Shaw."

Tottenham Hotspur star Danny Rose and Celtic's Kieran Tierney and Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon were identified as left-back targets by United. According to Manchester Evening News' report from 4 January, United have abandoned their plans of signing a new left-back in the January transfer window following Shaw's resurgence.

Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw has started Manchester United's last five matches in all competitions Getty