Let’s face it, whilst it would likely take any up and coming youngster more than one solitary season with Manchester United to fully make their mark at Old Trafford, the 2014/15 Premier League campaign was ultimately one to forget for Luke Shaw.
The man who was surprisingly among Roy Hodgson’s England squad at the 2014 World Cup simply failed to give a full account of himself last year due to a number of combining reasons.
Be it through a series of testing injuries that kept the 20-year-old side-lined for large parts of the domestic campaign, the increased competition for places at a club as successful as Manchester United, or frankly failing to meet the level of performance many had initially expected of him upon signing at his new club – Luke Shaw showed last season that he still has a great deal to learn in the modern game.
So then, with the 2015/16 proceedings now already underway for the Premier League’s hopefuls, will the former Southampton man finally prove himself this term, or is the England international simply not good enough for the Old Trafford outfit?
[ffc-gal cat=”manchester-united” no=”5″]
Well, although now would admittedly seem like a pretty premature moment to write the youngster off completely with the Red Devils, Luke Shaw really hasn’t been that impressive since making his high profile switch to Old Trafford last summer. It’s important to stick behind young, up and coming England stars of the future of course – but in this particular instance – some solid question marks have justifiably been raised.
When Shaw has been representing Manchester United out on the pitch for Louis van Gaal, it’s never been easy to single out just why the player in question has received so much hype of late. Was he actually worth the £27million spent on his services by the club last summer? Will Luke Shaw suddenly blossom into one of the best full-backs in world football a few seasons down the line? Or is it simply because he happens to be young – and more importantly – he also happens to be English?
Perhaps it’s fair to say that although the youngsters at St. Mary’s certainly put in a good collective showing for their side throughout the 2013/14 Premier League season – maybe some sections of the Southampton fanbase, as well as the media in general, ultimately got a bit too carried away with their progress, and the potential on offer from the club’s academy graduates.
Obviously the young Saints stars have done very well since making the step up to the English top-flight, yet because the likes of Calum Chambers, Adam Lallana and of course Luke Shaw, have distinctly failed to carry on where they left off since joining bigger clubs last summer, perhaps such players were merely over-hyped in the end. They’re simply not as good as everyone initially made out.
When you consider that Arsenal paid £35m for Alexis Sanchez the same summer United decided to shell out £27 million on Luke Shaw, such a comparison really is quite mind-blowing. Even if the former St. Mary’s favourite eventually reaches prime form at Old Trafford, it’s certainly fair to say that he’ll never actually be worth such a staggering amount anyway.
However, as the media viably receives a negative reputation for criticising young English talents before they have even had a chance to really stamp their authority in the Premier League, it must also be remembered that Luke Shaw is by no means finished at Old Trafford. Life goes on after one tough season of course.
At 20-years-old, maybe we shouldn’t even be talking about Luke Shaw and whether or not he’ll make it at United – perhaps we should just wait and see. Too much pressure isn’t good for anyone in this situation. The promise is certainly there, now all Louis van Gaal has to concentrate on is getting the consistency out of his expensive defensive investment throughout the 2015/16 campaign.
Having said that though, life in the English top-flight will ultimately forever remain tough for Luke Shaw considering the fact that the spot-light is now firmly on the full-back. Man United have already labelled him as a £27m player which, in all honesty, may prove too much of a burden for someone still learning their trade and developing in the Premier League.