The Daily Star reported back in March that Manchester United outcast Luke Shaw was set to be an ambitious summer target for The Magpies – who were willing to offer half the £30 million Jose Mourinho’s side paid Southampton back in 2014.
However, Newcastle failed to sign a single left-back during the transfer window, let alone the England international. Six months later, an injury to Paul Dummett, the only specialist left-back in Newcastle’s first team, has left Rafael Benitez with a selection headache.
Not least because Chancel Mbemba, who had filled in to good effect, is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury on international duty.
In the meantime, however, Shaw is closing in on a return to first-team duties for Manchester United after returning from injury against Arsenal’s Under-23s last week – a game he played at centre-half to combat The Gunners’ pacy frontline.
The question, however, is where Shaw fits into Mourinho’s plans. The 22-year-old barely featured last season after a chastening defeat to Watford in October with the United manager publically questioning his attitude on more than one occasion.
And, even when Shaw is fully fit, he faces a challenge displacing Daley Blind on the left of defence. At Newcastle, however, the jet-heeled youngster would have been the undisputed first-choice in a World Cup year.
As it stands, finding a place at his club, let alone his country, looks like being a challenge.