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Manchester United table $40 million bid for Luke Shaw. Is he worth it?

May 12, 2014, 8:41 AM EDT

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League Getty Images

A few hours after Manchester United drew 1-1 with Southampton in the final game of their miserable Premier League season, the Red Devils are looking to cherry-pick one of England’s brightest talents.

Saints’ 18-year-old left back Luke Shaw is a man in demand as Chelsea and Manchester City have been sniffing around the England international but according to various reports United have tabled a $40 million bid on Sunday.

With Patrice Evra out of contract and a monumental rebuild underway at Old Trafford this summer, it seems as though Shaw is top of United’s wish-list as they aim to freshen up their defense and bring a more youthful approach.

However, $40 million is a lot of money for a teenager who has only played one full season in the PL. Is Shaw worth it?

Shaw will be heading to Brazil as part of England’s 23-man squad at the World Cup this summer and many of the PL big boys want to try and seal his signature before he heads to South America. The teenager is the jewel in the crown of an extremely talented crop of youngsters at St. Mary’s who have all come through the famed Staplewood academy.

With the future of Saints skipper and Shaw’s fellow England international Adam Lallana also uncertain, plus manager Mauricio Pochettino failing to commit himself to the club until he knows the plans of the new chairman and board, we could see a clean sweep of Southampton’s staff this summer. That would be a huge shame as Shaw, Lallana and others have achieved Southampton’s best-ever PL season in 2013-14 with an eighth place finish and 56 points on the board.

As for Shaw’s future, he signed a new long-term deal with Saints at the start of the current season and has shone in his first full season in the PL after appearing for half the season as a 17-year-old in the 2013-13 campaign. At the age of 18 he already has 57 appearances in the PL under his belt an dis likely to be a star of the future with his level headed approach and confident displays clear for all to see. This year he was named to the PFA Team of the Season at left back and was a nominee for PFA Young Player of the Year. His marauding runs down the left flank see his deceptive pace bamboozle opposition defenders and the teenage sensation never seems to put a foot wrong. As good as he is going forward, there are a few question marks about his defending but he is sure to improve that side of his game with experience.

It is likely Saints will try to hold onto their star youngster and demand in excess of $50 million for his services but if United get the chance to snap Shaw up, they should do it. This kid, just like Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Saints’ academy in the past, is going right to the top.

In fact, he’s almost there already.

  1. dfstell - May 12, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    It does seem like a lot of money. But, that’s how it works with elite talent. The prices go up exponentially. There are a lot of serviceable left backs who can be had for a LOT less money, but a team of serviceable players isn’t going to help United reach the club’s goals.

    Plus…..left back? How many good left backs are there in the world?

  2. thedeadlockvictim - May 12, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Just a suggestion, but “table” implies “take off the table” in US English.

    • ascriptlikethis - May 12, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      No, to table something, in it’s common usage, is to postpone a discussion on a certain subject to a later date. Like if I make you an offer on your house and you table it, it means you aren’t going to make a decision until later. Besides, I think Joe Prince-Wright is British (I might be wrong though), in which case to table means exactly what he wants it to, to lay on the table to discuss. I think it’s fine for him to use it the way he did, but that’s just my $.02 and I respect your opinion as well.

  3. mikewrona - May 12, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    When you virtually possess unlimited financial resources, it makes no difference to United if Luke Shaw is worth $40 million or not. If they want him, they’ll spend the money. It is that kind of big club money excess that is beginning to kill English, Spanish and French football as it is killing American sports.

    • ascriptlikethis - May 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      If they possessed “unlimited” financial resources why didn’t they bring in Fabregas, or Thiago Alcantara, or Leighton Baines, or Ander Herrera, or Sami Khedira when they wanted them? The transfer window is no longer just a play thing, and FFP is making sure teams don’t have “unlimited” resources. Also, the Glazers are (compared to sheikhs and oil barons) cheap. They, like everyone else, will have a value of a player above which they won’t pay. It doesn’t make a difference how much he is worth, and if Southampton’s valuation is above what they are willing to pay then they won’t buy him.

      • ascriptlikethis - May 12, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        *does make a difference how much he is worth

      • dfstell - May 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        Exactly. At least United’s “big money” is generated organically by being a massively popular club that sells a lot of tickets and merchandise. Most of the other big spenders just spend their owners money: City, Chelsea, PSG, Monaco, etc.

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