Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw has the potential to become a star performer at Old Trafford for more than a decade, according to the club's former captain Gary Neville.
The retired Red Devils defender - who now combines work as a television pundit for Sky Sports with a coaching role in the England national team set-up - has defended the £30 million investment made in the talented teenager, after suggesting that although Louis van Gaal is yet to see the best of the flying full-back he will prove his worth over the coming years.
Shaw has taken a bit of time to settle at the Theatre of Dreams following his high-profile move from Southampton over the summer, and suffered a series of niggling injuries that disrupted his fitness and form at the start of his Manchester United career.
After recovering from his most recent injury at the turn of the year, the England international has been a regular fixture in Van Gaal's side for most of 2015, and Neville feels the 19-year-old is only just starting to show what he has to offer.
“People in the summer said it [just over £30 million] was a big price for Luke Shaw but I had no problem with the price tag on him because of the potential he has," he explained in a radio interview with talkSPORT Drivetime. "His potential is absolutely enormous.
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“When you watch him in training, and I’ve seen him with England, you just think it’s incredible to watch somebody run like he does.
"Staying fit, settling down in Manchester and getting used to the expectations of a new club [are important for him]. He could be there [at Old Trafford] for ten or fifteen years and if he performs to his capabilities and realises his potential he will be one hell of a player.”
Neville's perceived confidence in Shaw will be music to the ears of Manchester United supporters that might have started to question the Saints academy product's capability of cutting it at the highest level.
Under Mauricio Pochettino at St Mary's last season, Shaw was one of the brightest young players in the Premier League, and that's ultimately what earned him a lucrative £120,000-a-week move to Manchester after the World Cup in Brazil.
He's only shown glimpses of what he can do under the tutelage of Van Gaal so far, but given time the teenager could develop into one of the best left-backs in world football.
Believe to achieve
Tipped for a bright future from a very young age, Shaw has already made over 70 appearances in England's top-flight and looks well on his way to achieving the dreams of every aspiring young footballer during their formative years.
Manchester United fans: How have you rated Luke Shaw's performances in a Red Devils shirt so far? Do you agree with Gary Neville that he can nail down the left-back berth for the long-term future? Share your thoughts below...
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