When a 17-year-old Luke Shaw became a Premier League regular for Southampton, he showed composure and skill that belied his young age. When he signed for Manchester United in the summer of 2014 for a huge £30m sum, it looked as if he could go on to become one of the best full-backs in the world.
Unfortunately, terrible injuries and a lack of fitness have hampered Shaw’s progress and there is a sense that he needs to leave Manchester United in order to resurrect his stalling career. The Daily Mail are reporting that Newcastle United are looking to provide the defender with an escape from his Old Trafford nightmare, with a loan deal until the end of the season.
Newcastle have suffered badly from the lack of a specialist left-back this season, with regular incumbent Paul Dummett suffering a long-term injury on the opening day against Spurs. Rafa Benitez is aware that he is lacking funds with Mike Ashley still in charge, whilst Manchester United may be unwilling to part permanently with a player they have invested so much time and effort into.
A loan move therefore makes sense for both parties.
Shaw is likely to become a first-team regular if he joins the Magpies but, if the move goes ahead, will it come too late for him to be considered for England’s 2018 World Cup squad? Danny Rose and Ryan Bertrand are both ahead of Shaw in the pecking order, but the former appears to be at loggerheads with his club manager Mauricio Pochettino, whilst the latter is part of a middling Southampton squad.
If Shaw does secure a move to Tyneside, and helps the club to move up the league table, it could kickstart his career. If the Newcastle takeover goes ahead, he could sign permanently and become a first-team regular for years to come. Another option is that he returns to Manchester United next season, with some confidence restored, and shows them why they paid all that money for him as a teenager.