Grading Man United's £30m move for Luke Shaw - star of the future or overpriced?

Luke Shaw

Manchester United finally agreed a deal to sign Southampton left back Luke Shaw last week but how good is the move from a United point of view?

Shaw became one of the rising stars of the Premier League last season, performing consistently well at full back for Mauricio Pochettino's Saints before beating long-serving Ashley Cole to a place in Roy Hodgson's England World Cup squad. Now a Manchester United player, how does the Red Devils' move to sign Shaw grade out?

Positives

By landing 18-year-old Shaw, United feasibly have their left back position sorted for the next 10-15 years. Of course, he could leave the club in that time but the hope from the Red Devils is that Shaw will be with the club for the long term. It's something of a coup for United to land Shaw given that Chelsea were also reportedly interested, and it clearly shows that the club still have pulling power despite the lack of Champions League football at Old Trafford. United had to land the heir to Patrice Evra, but they've done it in a sensible way – somewhat similar to how Paris Saint-Germain have allowed Lucas Digne to sit behind Maxwell until he's ready to start. Shaw could of course become the instant starter for United, but the departure of Alexander Buttner would suggest that he may be on the bench to begin with. Ultimately, United have landed one of the biggest rising stars in English football – and they should be praised for doing that.

Negatives

£30m is a huge amount of money to fork out for someone who hasn't even turned 19 yet, and there will be a certain level of pressure on the youngster to live up to that price tag. United chose to splash out £30m to land Shaw when they could've signed Louis van Gaal's Netherlands left back Daley Blind for around a third of that, and questions must be asked over whether it's ever sensible to pay that kind of money for a left back – particularly when there are a number of areas in the United team that need addressing. There could also be legitimate criticism for Shaw's ability defensively, but given that he's so young, you'd imagine that he will be able to iron out certain aspects of his game in time.

Grade: B

It's a huge transfer fee, but United will feel like they've got a good deal if Shaw can live up to his potential. There are no guarantees that Shaw will start immediately, which will help ease some of the pressure that comes with the price tag. United clearly felt that it was important to land a young left back who they could depend upon for years to come with Evra nearing the end of his career at Old Trafford, and they will be confident that Shaw can be that player – hence the transfer fee.

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