Southampton left-back Luke Shaw is reportedly ‘gutted’ over the club’s decision to sack youth coaches Jason Dodd and Paul Williams.
The timing of the decision is remarkable, coming at a point when the Saints are reportedly battling to hang onto Shaw as Manchester United circle around him, trying to make him Louis van Gaal’s first summer signing.
Shaw has credited the pair as helping with his development, as he’s progressed to one of the best left-backs in the Premier League.
Gutted for doddsy and Willo, helped me a lot in my development over the years, wish them all the best in their carers— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw3) May 20, 2014
Shaw’s development last season saw him earn a place in England’s World Cup squad for this summer, while veteran defender Ashley Cole announced his international retirement following Roy Hodgson’s decision not to include him.
It’s not just Shaw who has progressed thanks to the exploits of the departing duo.
The Saints have one of the best academy setups in the country with several current first team stars having progressed impressively through the youth ranks such as Calum Chambers, Nathaniel Clyne and James Ward-Prowse among others.
United are now in a position where they can use the Saints’ decision to try and push through a deal for the teenager faster.
While the details and amount involved in the transfer won’t change, United could jump all over any sentimental feelings on the part of Shaw, using them to get him committed to an Old Trafford transfer.
Shaw is already a consistent member of the Saints first team but he’s by no means the complete left-back and those credited with his development, would not have considered their jobs over with regards to Shaw.
Perhaps the decision to sack two coaches that Shaw feels particularly close to is a sign that his transfer to United is already gathering pace. There’s no logic in the Saints shooting themselves in the foot over a player they are trying to prevent from a high profile and big money departure.
Reports suggest that United will make Shaw the highest paid teenager in world football and an official deal may have just moved an inch closer.