Adam Lallana has mentioned the Southampton star and Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United target in the same breath as the £80 million superstar.
“I knew how well he [Shaw] has been doing, playing with him every week. He's got such a level head on his shoulders and is so grounded - Gareth's gone on and never looked back. I know Gareth did play left-back as well. There are similarities there, but I wouldn't want to put too much pressure on Luke,” said the midfielder.
One is embarking on his first step into international football while one is having a blinder of a first season in La Liga following an £80 million transfer from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer. So how do they compare to each other?
We’ve looked at some basic stats from when Bale was the same again between 2007 and 2008, comparing them to Shaw from this season.
Shaw eclipses Bale in terms of the number of appearances he’s made compared to when the Welshman was 18. Bale made only eight Premier League starts during the 2007/2008 season which suggests Shaw is more consistent.
Bale is ahead in terms of goals having scored twice during those eight appearances. However, any criticism of Shaw in this area is unfair because his basic job is to play as a left-back and defend properly. His goal threat could develop over the next couple of years.
Shots on Target
|Player||Club||Pos||Ontarget Scoring Att||Apps||Mins|
Another area where Shaw is ahead but only by a fraction with eight efforts on target as opposed to six from Bale. It’s another element of Shaw’s game which will surely improve in the final third as he becomes a more refined full-back.
Shaw has committed more fouls this season than Bale at the same age; 14 compared to 10. Not a surprise because he’s a left-back and often faced with situations where better wingers will get the better of him or where he has to take one for the team, giving away a free kick.
Shaw has shown remarkable discipline to only pick up two yellow cards this season so far. Bale only accumulated one during the eight games he played at the same age, which suggests Shaw’s timing and decision making is absolutely fantastic at the moment.
image: © James Boyes