Manchester United have reportedly offered £34million to take Southampton’s highly rated youngster, Luke Shaw, to Old Trafford. However, the Saints’ are holding out for £40million. The 18-year-old is clearly talented and capable of developing into a top player, but would United be crazy to pay such a large fee for the youngster?
In short, yes, they would.
Valuation increased tenfold
Speculation about Shaw’s future began in January 2012, when the club valued Shaw at around £4million, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United interested in securing the youngsters services. Two-and-a-half years on, and the club are now demanding ten times that amount.
The left-back has been compared to Gareth Bale over the years, who also started his career at the Saints’ youth academy. Following Bale’s £80million move to Real Madrid last summer, it is understandable that Southampton are reluctant to see another potential star leave on the cheap, having sold Bale to Tottenham for just £7million. However, he is not yet as good, or even half as good, as Bale.
The dangers of an English pursuit
Of course, being an English player is known to increase a player’s value – that was what persuaded Liverpool to pay £30million for Andy Carroll – and look how that ended up.
Splashing out a large chunk of their transfer budget for a player who is worth, at the moment, £15million, would be very risky business for United.
Louis van Gaal is in need of players who are able to make an immediate impact on the big stage, not developing youngsters, in order to ensure the Red Devils are able to bounce back from a poor season under David Moyes. Shaw would strengthen the side, but not enough to warrant the price-tag.
Cheaper options available
Filipe Luis is available for £20million, and has already proved himself at the top level, having impressed in Atletico Madrid’s run to the Champions League final last season. Daley Blind and Alberto Moreno could prove to be more of a risk than Luis, having only played for Ajax and Sevilla – however, they are likely to cost significantly less than £40million.
Shaw may one day be worth such a large transfer fee, but £40million, or even £34million, is a ridiculous amount of money to gamble for a side desperately in need of immediate strengthening.