Southampton academy graduate Luke Shaw was one of the star performers at the European Championships this summer, and the club may be regretting selling him back in 2014.
The left-back left St Mary’s seven years ago after establishing himself in the first-team as a teenager, and whilst it has taken him time to really prove himself, his performances last season for Manchester United and at the Euros this summer prove that he is now one of the top left-backs in the world.
The 26-year-old joined United in a deal worth £27m when he was just 18-years-old and has gone on to feature 186 times for the Old Trafford outfit since then, contributing three goals and 17 assists in that time.
The 2020/21 campaign was undoubtedly his best in a Manchester United shirt, as he earned a place in the Premier League team of the season for his performances, averaging an impressive 7.03 rating from WhoScored across 32 top-flight appearances.
He was also one of the stars of the tournament for England as they were defeated in the Euro final by Italy on penalties, scoring once and assisting three times in six appearances and averaging a superb 7.37 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Rio Ferdinand was one of several pundits to sing his praises during the Euros, saying:
“He’s had a real burst of form and this season he has been fabulous. His delivery has been exquisite in this tournament, getting up there and his timing of the runs is excellent.
“It is all about execution from set-pieces and execution at vital moments in the game. When he gets the opportunity to get forward, it’s a feather foot into the dangerous area with beautiful deliveries.”
“Now he is realising the potential we all saw in him. Sometimes it just comes down to maturity and it is not just about footballing ability.”
Therefore, it seems fair to suggest that if he can maintain his current form, his transfer value will shoot through the roof, and suddenly the £27m Southampton received for him in 2014 seems like a poor deal from the South Coast club’s perspective.
Of course, it is impossible to know whether Shaw would have become the player he is today had he stayed at Southampton, as he has had to battle through a horrible injury and being scapegoated by Jose Mourinho at United before bouncing back to become one of the best left-backs in the world.
However, Southampton fans would surely have loved to have kept a player of Shaw’s obvious potential at the club and those on the Saints board may well be regretting letting him go for so little.
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