Manchester United and Chelsea target should stay at Southampton

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With renewed speculation surrounding the future of Southampton's highly-rated left-back, Luke Shaw, there has been heavy debate about which of his suitors - Manchester United or Chelsea - would represent the right club to continue his career.

Many are overlooking the fact that the England U21 international might already be in the best possible place to carry on his development, on the south coast, under the tutelage of progressive coach, Mauricio Pochettino.

Fifth in the table with 18 points from their opening nine games, the Saints have made a scintillating start to the 2013/14 campaign. But, there's already reason to believe that the Premier League high-fliers will not simply be a flash in the pan.

Senior figures at the top of the Hampshire club's hierarchy are busy planning for a sustainable challenge in the higher echelons of England's top-flight, and with the intention of returning Southampton to Europe, it's an exciting time to be an emerging young talent, trying to make a name for himself at St Mary's.

Shaw has already established himself in Pochettino's starting XI, and at just 18, there's no reason why he shouldn't honour the five-year contract he signed during the summer. As long as the club keeps moving forward in the same successful manner it has over the past few seasons, the teenager can realise all his dreams at Southampton.

Manchester United no longer have the allure they once did, under the former stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, and with the reigning champions now a fading force in the Premier League, they are starting to lose some appeal.

Shaw need look no further than Wilfried Zaha as an example of a player that transferred too early, ditching Crystal Palace in favour of a move to Old Trafford.

Had Zaha stayed at Selhurst Park for another season, he would have experienced Premier League football, and not seen his development hampered by being restricted to just two first-team appearances for David Moyes's side this season.

Chelsea are understood to have the upper-hand on Manchester United, given that Shaw is a boyhood Blues fans. But, putting his allegiances to one side for a moment, and thinking about what's best for his long-term career, a move to Stamford Bridge could turn out to be just as risky.

With Ashley Cole still a few seasons away from retirement, there will be no guarantee of regular first-team football in west London. Although the opportunity to work under Jose Mourinho might be tempting, it just isn't worth sacrificing regular run-outs for Southampton to rot in the Chelsea reserves.

Premier League
Manchester United
Luke Shaw
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