Luke Shaw’s first season at Manchester United has been far from a successful one. The teenager was signed for a massive fee of around £30m from Southampton, making him the most expensive U-20 player in the history of the beautiful game.
Naturally the adaptation has been tough, which the player himself has alluded to:
“I am still young and coming to the biggest club in the world hasn’t been easy for me.” He said.
There haven’t, as of yet, been any major suggestions that Louis van Gaal is thinking of offloading the full-back, but should his struggles continue into next season, there’s every chance the rumour mill may kick into gear, and there are likely to be a host of teams interested in the 19-year-old.
However, United have let players go in the past only to see them blossom, and here are FIVE that prove Shaw may be deserving of a chance…
Signed from Independiente in 2002 with a reputation as one of South America’s top emerging marksmen, much was expected of Diego Forlan. But aside from a heroic goalscoring performance against Liverpool, the Uruguayan’s lean showings saw him deemed a ‘flop’, and he was shifted on after two and a half years.
Villarreal took the plunge, and the blonde-haired star went on to average one goal every two games in Spain with the Yellow Submarine and Atletico Madrid, before signing for Inter Milan. He also performed amazingly for his nation at the 2010 World Cup.
At 35, he’s now playing in Japan with Cerezo Osaka.
His route into the Manchester United first-team blocked, Rossi was flogged, again to Villarreal, in 2007.
The American-born Italy international shone at youth level for the Red Devils and during a loan spell at Parma, and this potential has since manifested itself.
For the yellow-clad side in Spain he notched over 50 goals before moving back to Italy with Fiorentina and earning a spot in the Azzurri side. His injury record has perhaps justified the sale, but at the time United couldn’t have known much about the problems the now 28-year-old would face.
Such a mistake that United are now attempting to get him back, Pogba looks to be another one ‘that got away’.
The Frenchman left in 2012 in search of regular football after being benched by Sir Alex Ferguson, and has since cemented himself as one of the planet’s most highly-rated midfielders and claimed two (soon to be three) Serie A titles. Bad move, Fergie.
Sold in 2001 and replaced by a 35-year-old Laurent Blanc, Ferguson’s axing of Stam goes down as one of the most questionable decisions of the Scot’s United reign.
The Dutch centre-back, who headed to Lazio, was a dominant force and a big player at Old Trafford, with his commanding displays having played a party in the treble season.
He went on to shine in Italy with AC Milan before ending his career at Ajax.
Pique or Jonny Evans… hmmmmmm. Well, Fergie chose the latter, letting the Spaniard slip back to Barcelona after just a handful of outings, and the rest is history.
Pique has since won twos World Cup and the European Championship with Spain, as well as four La Liga titles, two Champions League, two Copa del Reys and two FIFA Club World Cups with Barca. Ouch.