Whilst Manchester United fans can afford to approach the coming season with far more optimism than the one just gone, there still remains a large degree of scepticism with regards to how successful they will be in this summer’s transfer window.
Newly-appointed Dutchman Louis van Gaal has naturally made certain that the club know who exactly it is that he believes is of the required standard to be bought in, but the majority of supporters would surely just be happy to see anyone of note sign on the dotted line. Reports today claim that the Red Devils are on the verge of securing a transfer for Southampton starlet Luke Shaw for an eye-watering deal which could be worth around £40million over five years, but whilst it may be met with a celebratory fan fare at Old Trafford the question remains, is it worth it?
The 18-year-old full-back is undeniably gifted, and the maturity displayed in his Premier League performances for Southampton have paved the way for any doubts over his age to be discarded by most critics. However the fact remains that he is an incredibly raw talent, and the £160,000-a-week deal said to be on the table to convince him to trade the south coast for Manchester is arguably one put forward by a club desperate to remove all possibility that they could be embarrassed in the market once more.
If there were any lingering doubts, the United of old is dead. The club which so calmly went about their transfer business under Sir Alex Ferguson, safe in the knowledge that they could compete with virtually any club on the planet for a player’s signature has become an organisation fraught with panic over its future. The supposed Shaw deal is all the evidence you need to see that.
As talented as he may be, is the Saints starlet truly worth £27million? Can United justify offering Shaw £160,000-a-week? The answer would usually of course be no. He may be worth £27million to his current club due to the burgeoning reputation he has accumulated whilst there, but realistically he has limited experience at the highest level, and it’s likely there remains a fair few things Patrice Evra could teach him.
It’s not that Shaw shouldn’t be bought by United, nor that he’s a foolish purchase given the circumstances. However there are alternate options out there who could have offered a similar service for far cheaper. In this respect the Red Devils’ one-track minded approach could be cause for alarm. The likes of Sevilla defender Alberto Moreno, who is reportedly close to securing a move to Liverpool, Barcelona star Jordi Alba, who could be involved in the clear out sale held by new Catalan boss Luis Enrique and Atletico Madrid ace Filipe Luis could have all been substantially cheaper, more proven, options, but none of them appear to have interested Old Trafford chiefs.
In a sense United have put all their eggs in one basket with the purchase of Shaw and, whilst it’s unlikely, his form could falter before the club reap the dividends of their expensive outlay. The idea probably won’t be in Van Gaal’s mind, but it’s definitely food for thought for the individuals who tune in to watch his side each week.
Could Shaw become an expensive mistake? Comment below and let us know...