The 18-year-old England fullback has completed a £27 million move to Old Trafford from Southampton to join the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, new arrival Ander Herrera and youngster Adnan Januzaj who stole the spotlight at Old Trafford last term, offering a shining light in what was overall a dark season for the club under David Moyes.
The 19-year-old Belgian is supremely gifted technically, is already and will continue to be one of the Red Devils’ dangermen as he develops under new manager Louis van Gaal next term.
Luke Shaw is England’s most exciting fullback prospect at present and his ability to defend as well as contribute successfully going forward will surely be a huge positive for a young player such as Januzaj who will likely play ahead of him on the left flank. The prospect of these two youngsters combining for the next five or ten years and beyond at the Theatre of Dreams is something the fans of the club can look forward to.
The fullback’s ability as a defender is at a very good level even at his young age and, as with all defenders, he will improve as he gains experience to become a top-level defender in his own right but his tenacity, intelligence and quality going forward is going to make Manchester United a team no right-back in the country is going to want to face. The prospect of them combining and overlapping on the flank is a little overwhelming and to keep them both quiet will severely limit the ability of the opposition’s right fullback and winger to get forward as they’ll be conscious of not allowing either Januzaj or Shaw time and space on the ball.
Both are quick and make intelligent runs and can pass and cross with efficiency in their delivery. What will benefit Januzaj the most will be, as Shaw develops, the security of knowing he can roam forward and attack with licence and Shaw will be there to keep his defensively responsibility.
Patrice Evra has been a solid, reliable and committed defender for United over the years but he does not possess the same level of threat going forward that Shaw does and at the age of 33 we saw last season there was a hint of him losing his pace.
Shaw will likely take a season or two to really become the defensive presence United require but in a future back four of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Rafael with David De Gea behind them, Manchester United are really building a team that can dominate the Premier League for the next decade with so many young players growing together and perhaps they can emulate the spirit of the Golden Generation under Sir Alex Ferguson.