Luke Shaw
England left-back, Luke Shaw, is in danger of missing this summer's European Championships after he sustained a muscle injury whilst playing for Manchester United. Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Manchester United left-back, Luke Shaw, is expected to be out for a lengthy period after coming off injured during Manchester United's 2-1 win away to Luton Town on the weekend.

A brief statement was put out by Manchester United on Wednesday night to provide some clarification on the 28-year-old's situation. It read: "Luke Shaw has sustained a muscle injury and will be out for an extended period. Further assessment is still needed to determine the severity but we expect him to be absent for a few months."

Shaw's setback is a major blow as it means he may not be able to play for his club again this season. It also puts his participation at this summer's UEFA European Championships with England in serious doubt.

The muscle injury sustained by Shaw at Kenilworth Road on Sunday appeared to be a serious issue at first glance as the defender went straight down the tunnel in first-half stoppage time without attempting to make it to half-time.

Furthermore, the injury came just a week after Shaw failed to appear for the second half in Manchester United's win at Aston Villa. Muscle problems have plagued Shaw's 2023/2024 campaign as he has been able to make just 15 appearances in all competitions.

The muscle tissue suffered earlier in the season saw him be unavailable for Manchester United from late August until late November. He then missed four consecutive games across December and January due to an unspecified injury.

Shaw's latest absence comes at a period when his club have major issues in the left-back spot, with Tyrell Malacia, no closer to making his first appearance of the season as he continues to recover from a knee injury picked up last season.

Manchester United also sent Sergio Reguilon back to Tottenham Hotspur in January after a short loan spell, as it seemed Shaw and Malacia were past their injury woes. The Spaniard was brought in as emergency cover last August due to Shaw getting injured and he went on to make nine appearances.

The decision to not keep Reguilon for the rest of the season appears to be the wrong one due to Shaw now having to spend further time on the sidelines.

Young prospect, Alvaro Fernandez, was loaned out by Manchester United in January to Benfica, but the Premier League club cannot recall the Spanish left-back as he spent the first half of the season on loan at Granada. Players are not permitted to officially play for more than two clubs in the same season, meaning Fernandez must remain at Benfica.

Centre-back, Victor Lindelof, came on as a substitute for Shaw in the last two games and appears to be ten Hag's next-best option at left-back in the coming weeks.

Manchester United are already set to be without centre-back, Lisandro Martinez, for the majority of the season's remaining games.

Ten Hag not having two of his starting defenders in the coming months could severely halt his side's chances of finishing in the UEFA Champions League spots. Manchester United currently sit two places and five points behind fourth-placed, Aston Villa.

Whether or not Shaw is able to feature again for his club this season may influence the thinking of England manager, Gareth Southgate, when it comes to him selecting his final 23-man squad for Euro 2024.

Shaw is Southgate's preferred option at left-back for England and he was a starter at the last two major international tournaments.

A sufficient number of minutes played by Shaw towards the end of the season may convince the England boss that the player will be able to operate at his usual level once the Euros begin in mid-June.

If Shaw is unable to be fit for the Euros, Chelsea's Ben Chilwell will likely step into the left-back role, providing he is fit for the tournament. Chilwell has had injury issues of his own in the past as he missed the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a hamstring problem.

Kieran Trippier is another probable option which Southgate would go with if he does not have Shaw at his disposal. The Newcastle United right-back is highly trusted by the England boss and has shown his versatility by playing at left-back for the Three Lions in the past.