Two years ago, Manchester Untied signed a young defensive prospect in Luke Shaw from Southampton for a reported £27 million, which made him, at the time, the world’s most expensive teenager and the fourth most expensive defender in world football. Shaw seemed very keen to join Manchester United, after apparently telling the Southampton hierarchy that he wanted to move to Manchester United after drawing 1-1 against them.
The transfer was destined to happen, especially with Ed Woodward ready to splash the cash on the then 18-year-old defender. The transfer almost seemed destined to be finalised before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in which Shaw played a full 90 minutes against Costa Rica which ended in a 0-0 draw. Within this game, he became the youngest player to feature at the tournament. However, the deal took longer than expected due to Mauricio Pochettino leaving Southampton for Tottenham as well as the outgoings of Ricky Lambert and Adam Lallana to join United rivals, Liverpool.
With all of this going on, Southampton wanted to hold back on selling any more players before a new manager came in. In the end, ex-Barcelona and Netherlands international Ronald Koeman was appointed and Shaw was sold to Manchester United shortly after, signing a four-year contract with an option for a further year. Upon joining the Old Trafford club, Luke Shaw was quoted as saying:
“I want to continue to progress my career and joining United is the ideal place for me to do that. I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life and also looking forward to learning from the world-class players and management at the club.”
With Ryan Giggs also giving him his praises by saying:
“Luke is a very talented young left-back with great potential. He has developed immensely during his time at Southampton and has all the attributes to become a top player. I am delighted he has joined Manchester United as I believe this is the right club for him to continue his development as a young player and eventually fulfil that promise.”
A lot of fans expected Luke Shaw to set the world alight when he arrived at Old Trafford but he wasn’t able to make his competitive debut straight away due to missing the start of the season with a hamstring injury. This was a regular occurrence for the young defender as he missed most of the season through injuries, only making 17 Premier League appearances all season.
After the 2014/15 season was finished, Shaw took a fitness coach on holiday with him to ensure that he was able to be fully fit when it comes to the new season, this pleased a lot of Manchester United fans as they were able to see his determination to play for the club. Having started pre-season for the upcoming 2015/16 campaign, Shaw looked like a different player, the player that was bombing up and down the left side for Southampton. He pleased the then Manchester Untied manager Louis van Gaal so much, he declared that “this season shall be the season of Luke Shaw”.
Things looked really bright for Shaw as he had an amazing start to the 2015/16 season but this was soon sadly ended after suffering from a double fracture in his right leg after a crunching tackle from Hector Moreno in Manchester United’s 2-1 loss against PSV Eindhoven. This injury kept him out for the rest of the 2015/16 season. Shaw is now set to begin training at Carrington again next week for the upcoming 2016/17 season.
Shaw’s Manchester United career hasn’t really kicked off as he would have liked to, in all honestly. The fans expected to see him dominate the left-hand side of the field but this obviously hasn’t happened for the 20-year-old. His Untied career, so far, has had more downs than ups but the United faithful have seen glimpses of what he can bring to the team and it’s quite scary what he can already do at just the age of 20.
I think Manchester United have a future world class talent on their hands and I also think Manchester United fans should be excited to watch Shaw develop, especially under Jose Mourinho, who always has one attacking full-back providing an attacking threat but also able to occupy their defensive duties. This is what Luke Shaw is all about.
So overall, Shaw’s United career hasn’t been great, yet! But if he avoids any further injuries and keeps working hard we will see a great talent blossom into a leading senior player in the Manchester United first team for many years to come.