Few left-backs in world football will be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge whilst England centurion Ashley Cole is still around, but Southampton defensive prodigy Luke Shaw is one player worthy of such a rare accolade.
The 18 year-old emerged as a real talent over the course of last season, turning out in 25 Premier League fixtures and rarely looking out of his depth, despite having made just one senior appearance for the South-Coast outfit previously.
Now, Shaw has made the No.3 slot at St. Mary’s his own, starting in six out of eight top flight fixtures so far this term as Southampton find themselves in sixth place in the Premier League table.
The England U21, who has two caps for the Three Lions juniors, has been likened to fellow Saints academy product Gareth Bale in style, being an impeccable athlete and possessing immense technical ability.
He also epitomises the modern full-back; capable of effecting both ends of the football pitch, with the pace and stamina to do so for a full 90 minutes.
Many have already tipped the Saints defender to become Cole’s natural successor at Chelsea, a theory only backed up by Jose Mourinho recently emphasising the need to replace the Blues’ English contingent over the next three to four years.
Shaw is very much a long-term target for the Blues, but they may have to act sooner than planned.
According to the tabloids, Manchester United have a £25million bid planned for the January transfer window, and Chelsea will need to match them.