Ashley Cole’s decision to sign a new contract at Chelsea means the West London side are very unlikely to now launch a raid for Luke Shaw from Southampton. However, Manchester United may quickly step up their pursuit of the youngster.
Current United veteran left back Patrice Evra is not getting any younger and although the club have cover in the form of Alexander Buttner, the arrival of Shaw would consolidate one of the most important defensive positions at Old Trafford.
Shaw has been a stand out performer for the Saints so far this season and he has shown great maturity beyond his years which will interest Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot this week spoke of his regret at missing out on former Southampton left-sided wizard Gareth Bale and may not want to repeat the same mistake.
He’s a natural target for United, they just haven’t said anything official about it yet and they have the resources to be competitive against any other club looking to sign him.
Shaw is just 17-years-old which makes him a long term investment for United. He is agile and quick which will make him useful going up and down the left flank, attacking throughout a game and defensively he is sound enough to cope with a lot of pressure.
It will also be very hard to resist a move for United if they came in for him at some point in the future, but Southampton do hold the cards at present, offering Shaw both Premier League football, and they have tied him down to a new contract, giving them strength and security at the negotiating table.
Ferguson has shown at United with the similar example of Nick Powell that he will not rush the development of young players at the club. They will be protected, nurtured and introduced into the first team gradually to ensure maximum performance.
Personal terms wouldn’t be an issue and once Evra goes or retires, United will need another left back and Shaw will be maturing and getting close to his early 20s when he’s likely to get a solid run in the first team.
Southampton are quite within their rights to make it as difficult as possible for any club that wants to sign Shaw. How he will be considered in terms of the new manager and the new era at the club is the most decisive thing in his future.
If new Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t hold Shaw in the same regard as Nigel Adkins did, then it means United, or any other side, could do a good bit of business and sign a talented youngster before he’s really developed into a major player.
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