Manchester United have completed the £33 million signing of Southampton and England full-back Luke Shaw, who will be officially unveiled by the Red Devils later today. The 18-year-old becomes the second player to arrive at Old Trafford in the space of as many days, following the acquisition of Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.
Although Manchester United are yet to confirm the deal, the Express report that Shaw has passed a medical and signed a five-year contract with the Premier League giants, bringing an end to one of this summer’s longest-running transfer sagas.
Manchester United will pay Southampton an initial £27 million for the teenage left-back, with the overall value of the deal set to rise to £33 million with add-ons. Chelsea were also keen on Shaw, who grew up supporting the Blues, but saw themselves eventually priced out of the race by the Red Devils’ huge offer.
Shaw becomes the most expensive teenager in the game’s history, while recent reports claim he will receive a wage of £160,000-a-week. Such an astronomical weekly wage and price tag means the youngster will be under pressure to perform from the very beginning of his United tenure.
Patrice Evra and Alex Buttner
Earlier this week it was confirmed that Manchester United have sold full-back Alexander Buttner to Dynamo Moscow, freeing up a space in the Old Trafford ranks for Shaw, who will battle it out with Patrice Evra for the left-back spot next season.
Evra signed a new one-year contract extension last month but, at the age of 33, has entered into decline. It’s expected that United boss Louis van Gaal will rotate the France international with Shaw next season, although the former could start the campaign as first-choice, allowing the teenage defender to settle into his new surroundings with less pressure on his shoulders.
Shaw - Bio
Shaw, following in the footsteps of the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gareth Bale, emerged through Southampton’s famed youth academy before making his first-team debut at the age of 16 in 2012.
Southampton were promoted back to the Premier League later that year and Shaw, despite his tender age, was magnificent. In total he made 25 league appearances and earned widespread praise for his mature performances.
Last season the youngster went on to make 35 Premier League appearances, leading to a call-up to England’s World Cup squad ahead of Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, who promptly announced his international retirement.
Is Shaw worth the money?
Manchester United have been criticised by some for over-spending on Shaw, particularly with cheaper alternatives available. However, there’s an argument to suggest the Red Devils have spent wisely.
If Shaw spend the next 15 years at Old Trafford as the club’s first-choice left-back, it will eventually look like an extremely shrewd and frugal acquisition. But the teenager will be under big pressure to live up to the price tag.
Manchester United fans: Watch your new signing in action by watching the video below...