The justification for his desire to stay at Manchester United and prove his enduring worth, when it would have been easier to accept the challenge, was too much and to move on.
Shaw will aim to solidify that justification in the form of Europa League glory on Wednesday, when United face Villarreal in search of their first trophy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
For left-back Shaw, there is a personal advantage on occasion, having missed the last three finals United have reached, as well as two semi-final losses.
Now Shaw has a chance to be part of a cup-winning squad and end a great season in which he was voted United Players ‘Player of the Year and selected for the United Players’ Team of the Season. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.
“I always believed I would be able to do it,” Shaw said.
“Maybe there were people who – when I was going through tough times and when I wasn’t playing – would tell me to go out and play somewhere else.
“Nobody wants to leave the biggest club in the world and I think there was a reason why I was brought here. I didn’t want to leave and not show what I can do.
“I dug deep, I didn’t let anyone affect me. Now I’m on a much better path and I’m raising the bar higher than before. Consistency is the key to me.
“I don’t want to be too comfortable, I want to keep pushing myself and trying to provide consistent high performance every week.
“That’s why I was disappointed in myself the other night in the loss to Liverpool.
“This bar that I placed, I was under it. I was not what I have been normally this season and that is why I was very disappointed after this game.
“People have bad days in the office and I told the manager the next day that I was really mad at myself.
“He agreed with me and said ‘you weren’t bad.’ But I put that consistency to a high level, he expects every game and I agree with him. I need to push myself to this level. “
Shaw, 25, admitted he was flattered to have been chosen by Neville and Carragher to their Team of the Season, given the duo had criticized him in the past.
“It’s obviously very nice to see, especially from the two of them,” said Shaw, who endured a difficult relationship with Jose Mourinho but who thrived under his successor Solskjaer.
“I’ve been criticized by them in the past, obviously for performances and whatnot.
“So it’s nice to change their mind about what they think of me. It’s nice to be part of their Team of the Year.
“They know a lot about football and watch a lot of football so clearly that means something.
“But you try to ignore it too much and just focus on yourself and keep doing the right things to get better and better. “
For Shaw, whose rebirth earned him a callback to England, United’s 2017 Europa League triumph – the club’s last trophy – was a bittersweet moment as he watched injured.
“I was really happy for the team, for the team and for the fans that season,” said Shaw.
“But being there on crutches is always different. It’s extremely different when you don’t play it, it’s not the same feeling.
“I hope this time I can get involved and try to help the team and, for myself, be involved in the final and win it.