Luke Shaw has been rewarded for his resurgence in form with a new five-year Manchester United contract, but Jose Mourinho will also feel vindicated for dishing out some tough love over the last two years.
Shaw has endured rotten luck with injuries and fitness problems throughout his United career, having joined from Southampton as an 18-year-old in 2014.
His Old Trafford experience nosedived with Mourinho's appointment two years later, as he was consistently singled out as underperforming.
Here, we trace how one of English football's brightest young talents escaped from the crosshairs and got back on track.
Mourinho's public criticisms of Shaw have revolved largely around a perceived lack of work rate and tactical awareness, beginning in the wake of a 3-1 loss to Watford in September 2016.
"For the second goal they receive the ball and our left-back is 25 metres away instead of five," Mourinho said.
"But give him 25 metres and you have to press. But no, we wait. It is a tactical but also mental attitude."
Going through all your letters and post, thanks for the support!! pic.twitter.com/dpGtHpRAAx— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw23) October 13, 2016
Sitting out against Swansea
Shaw played one minute in United's next four Premier League games and further drew his manager's ire by withdrawing through injury before a trip to Swansea City.
"There is a difference between the brave, who want to be there at any cost, and the ones for whom a little pain can make a difference," Mourinho commented. "For the team you have to do anything, that is my way of seeing [things]."
Down the pecking order
Shaw's fade into obscurity in Mourinho's first season in charge was such that he became United's fourth-choice left-back by the time of a Europa League trip to Saint-Etienne in February 2017.
"He stayed behind in Manchester because I'm playing with Daley Blind, with Marcos Rojo, with Matteo Darmian, and all of them are playing the way I like a full-back to play," the manager said.
"Luke has to wait for his chance and work better and better, knowing I give nothing for free. When I give something to the players, it's expensive for them – it's not cheap."
Ticking over on my weekend off pic.twitter.com/GHJM3sKSx7— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw23) November 13, 2016
'He has to change his football brain'
The youngest player in England's 2014 World Cup squad appeared to have turned the corner courtesy of an important part in rescuing a last-gasp draw with Everton in April 2017, only for Mourinho to sensationally claim Shaw only played well because he was telling him what to do.
"I think he has to change his football brain," the ex-Chelsea boss told BT Sport. "I was telling him just now, he was doing things in the second half because he was reacting to my voice.
"If he was playing on the other side, for sure he would not do it because I was not there to think for him."
'It is a relation to trust, a relation to class'
As recently as March, Shaw was hauled off at half-time during a 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Brighton and Hove Albion, finding himself on the wrong end of another stinging post-match rebuke from Mourinho.
"Luke – I cannot say much more," he started. "It is a relation with personality, it is a relation to trust, it is a relation to class.
"Luke, in the first half, every time they went in his corridor the cross was coming and a dangerous situation was coming, so I was not happy with the performance."
Six months on from that jibe, a persistent Shaw commended Mourinho for helping him enjoy an improved start in 2018-19 and was told he was once again resembling a "proper football player".
"In this moment, he is feeling the good results of the hard work of many people that work against him and try to make him a proper football player, because a proper football player is a player of consistency," Mourinho told a news conference.
"Mentally, physically, he is stronger. Tactically, he has a better understanding and we are very happy for him. It is extraordinary for him."
|BREAKING NEWS: Alexander-Arnold signs long-term contract at Liverpool|
|Pochettino eyes Messi-esque role for Alli|
|Halep sets up mouth-watering Serena showdown by conquering Venus|
|Wilder-Fury II expected for April 27 or May - Warren|
|Celtics´ Kyrie Irving on technical: If someone questions your manhood, you got no choice|
|Serena would ´love´ Halep clash|
|Djokovic sees off Shapovalov at Aus Open|
|DeMarcus Cousins scores 14 points in Warriors debut|
|´Don´t cry, you did really well´ - Serena consoles Yastremska|
|Andrade eyes Golovkin after defending middleweight title|
|WATCH: Cousins throws down thunderous dunk to open Warriors career|
|Serena sails into Australian Open last 16|
|Icardi will renew Inter contract - Nara|
|Mickelson maintains Desert Classic lead|
|Klopp dismisses Coutinho rumours|
|Osaka completes stunning comeback in Melbourne|
|Lakers guard Rondo cleared for full-contact practices|
|Solskjaer: Lukaku is big part of Man United squad|
|Napoli slam FIGC decision to reject Koulibaly appeal|
|We´re the hunters! - Kovac´s Bayern ready to chase down Dortmund|
|Chiefs safety Reid expected to play against Patriots|
|Chelsea not ready to rest Jorginho - Sarri|
|NFL receiver Fitzgerald has hole-in-one in round of golf with former president Obama|
|I´m really loving playing this game - Eagles QB Foles not ready to retire|
|Saints show no mercy, score 111 in rout of Timisoara Saracens|
|CAF Champions League Review: Khenissi double gets ES Tunis up and running|
|Edinburgh clinch home quarter-final, Glasgow also advance to last eight|
|Hazlewood to miss Sri Lanka Tests with back injury|
|Norwich City 3 Birmingham City 1: Canaries end winless run to go second|
|Hoffenheim 1 Bayern Munich 3: Goretzka goals close gap on Bundesliga´s return|
|Cowboys part ways with offensive coordinator Linehan|
|Payton´s message to Saints fans: Hurry up and make noise|
|Transfer talk no distraction for Inter, says Spalletti|
|Memories of 2015 still linger for Vunipola as England begin World Cup year|
|De Bruin´s 85th-minute try consigns Kings to eighth straight loss|
|Bielsa´s Derby County dossier detail ´pretty standard´ – OptaPro chief|
|Injury-hit Madrid lose Navas to adductor issue|
|Patriots coach Belichick still gets nervous ´every week´|
|Copa del Rey draw: Barcelona to meet Sevilla in quarter-finals|
|Kohli: No one more committed to India than Dhoni|
|Brook questions Khan credibility following Crawford agreement|
|Sad Pochettino admits Bielsa is ´wrong´|
|Simeone eyes LaLiga gain after Atletico´s Copa del Rey pain|
|Rossi a no-go for Tottenham as Pochettino rules out panic buys|
|Guardiola identifies ´three or four´ midfield targets|
|Nadal encourages patience in young stars after humbling De Minaur|
|NFL playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Patriots v Chiefs|
|Robertson helping Klopp learn Scottish for Dalglish chats|
|Levante appeal over alleged ineligible Barcelona player rejected|
|NFL Playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Rams v Saints|
|Lowry to take three-shot Abu Dhabi lead into final round|
|Training is not for anyone else - Klopp condemns Bielsa over ´spygate´ row|
|In other countries, everybody does it - Guardiola respect remains for spying Bielsa|
|Cilic battles back to join Nadal, Federer in fourth round|
|Klopp: Trent unbelievable for playing through pain|
|Faulkner provides super start and fabulous finish to sink Scorchers|
|Ref admits error in key foul call on Lonzo Ball in Lakers-Thunder game|
|Marina Granovskaia is working very hard – Sarri ´confident´ of January signings|
|Tuchel confirms Rabiot out of PSG contention|
|Madrid derby kick-off confirmed for February 9|
|Benzema fit to face Sevilla despite broken finger, Solari confirms|
|Bournemouth boss Howe says no offers received for Wilson|
|Kerber cruises after Wozniacki, Sabalenka upsets|
|Mbappe a great player and great person, says beaming Beckham|
|Gracia confident someone will step up if Doucoure leaves for PSG|
|Albrighton signs new Leicester deal|
|Niasse joins Cardiff on loan from Everton|
|Hendrick credited with Fulham strike|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Adelaide United 2: Goodwin compounds Wanderers woes|
|Chahal and Dhoni carry India to ODI triumph|