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'Unfit' Luke Shaw given individual fitness programme

Louis van Gaal isn't happy with Luke Shaw's fitness level.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While Ander Herrera has been Manchester United's best player in pre-season so far, his fellow summer arrival Luke Shaw has been rather underwhelming -- thoroughly outshone on the left of midfield by United's reserve teamer Reece James.

In his most recent press conference, manager Louis van Gaal has suggested fitness is to blame:

"I am always a trainer who sees the individuals and what each player needs. Luke needs to be fit and he’s not very fit and can’t perform how I want. He needs to be fit and to train individually. I can’t judge why. I see what I see. I have spoken with him and we have made a programme with him. He has agreed. We will have to see how long it takes. I don’t know. I have heard good messages from Tony Strudwick the fitness coach."

That isn't the only interesting tidbit from van Gaal's press conference ahead of today's meeting with Inter in Maryland. He also confirmed that Wilfried Zaha, who is the only player yet to play on the United States tour, will be given his chance against the Serie A side -- though in the Arjen Robben forward role, rather than as a wing-back:

"He will have to play as a striker as he can’t play the other positions in the system. Ashley Young can play as a wing-back. Zaha cannot do that so he will be a striker. I have spoken with him and I think he can do it. We will see. He will play the second 45 minutes of this game and will play as a striker."

And last but not least, van Gaal has apparently explained to Sky Sports that if he was going to play a 4-3-3 instead of the 3-4-1-2 he's used so far, he would "need specialists on the wings." Perhaps he's not so keen on Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young after all …