Luke Shaw: England's next big "thing"
The 18 year old full back is playing like a seasoned veteran for Saints
Born on 12th July, 1995 in Kingston, Southwest London, the left back joined the Southampton academy as an 8 year old. He supported Chelsea as child and when he was only 15, he was a regular for the U18 squad. As a product of the famous Southampton academy that has produced the likes of Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott, there are high hopes that he will become a big star in the near future.
As a 16-year-old, prior to even making any appearances for the first team, Luke Shaw was being monitored by major clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea. But in January 2012, then Southampton manager, Nigel Adkins, revealed that the 16 year old was a "big part of our future plans". Soon after, Luke made his Southampton debut, coming on for Jason Puncheon during an FA Cup tie against Millwall.
After that season, Southampton were back in the Premier League and Shaw was given a regular playing role for the newly promoted club. Able to dash across the left flank with lots of pace and energy, the prodigy has often been compared to Gareth Bale who played a similar role. Being one to always provide overlapping runs for the attack, Luke Shaw was able to amass 25 appearances in the Premier League as a 17 year old.
Interest grew in the English full back and it was later reported that a bid from Arsenal in the region of £10 Million was rejected. Other apparent approaches from the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham have also been rumoured. However, Shaw has seen fully committed his future to Southampton by signing a five-year contract on his 18th birthday.
So far, Shaw has started this season brightly after earning Southampton a penalty in injury time against West Brom which Lambert converted to give the Saints their only league victory of the season. He is currently playing for the England U21 under new coach Gareth Southgate and featured in recent matches against Finland and Moldova.
In addition, Luke Shaw has received further endorsement from compatriot and Manchester United Veteran, Rio Ferdinand who said: "Every time i have seen Luke shaw at this level he has looked really comfortable. Good on the ball, takes the ball, quick & aggressive."
Overall, the Southampton prodigy looks to have similar potential to other Academy graduates like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and if Southampton fails to retain their Premier League status this season, it seems certain that the youngster will be snatched up by a major club.
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