Luke Shaw has endured a difficult start to his Manchester United career, but former Southampton coach Jason Dodd has backed his old youth team product to come good at Old Trafford.
The 19-year-old left-back swapped St Mary's for the Theatre of Dreams in a £30 million deal last summer, but has so far struggled to replicate the form that prompted the Red Devils to break the record transfer fee for a teenager.
Shaw has struggled to maintain fitness and form during his debut campaign with the Premier League giants, and as a result he's failed to justify his hefty fee. The reported £120,000-a-week wages has heaped further pressure on the young England international's shoulders, but Dodd is adamant that the talented teenager will prove his worth.
Article continues below
"He’s quick, he’s a really good defender and he gets forward. He’s got all the attributes," reflected the former Saints full-back in an interview with Sky Sports. "Yeah, he’s going through a rocky time but Manchester United aren’t as fluent as they want to be.
"He’s not been known for his injuries but at United he’s picked up injuries at the wrong time. Then because Manchester United have not been playing as well as they can play, he gets rushed back.
"When he was at Southampton, he was the baby of the squad. He was the youngest in his year as well. Whenever he’s progressed at Southampton, it’s only gone on an upward curve. It’s got better and better. When he’s gone to Manchester United, it’s the first time really that he’s faced criticism and questions being asked of him."
Despite the fact the pressures of playing for a club as prestigious as Manchester United are vastly different from the expectations at Southampton, Dodd says that Shaw has the ability to become an important first-team regular for Louis van Gaal.
He's tipped the starlet to establish himself as a top performing Red Devils star and suggested that he could go on to become as successful as another former Southampton graduate Gareth Bale - now of Real Madrid - by eventually leaving Old Trafford for £60 million or more.
"He’s never had that [criticism] before because his progress has been amazing," added Dodd. "Now he’s at that next level and is he going to get stronger? He’s going to have to adjust to it because he’s at one of the best clubs in the world and he is going to get criticism.
"I think he will deal with it and he could even go for double what Manchester United paid for him. He's that good."
Manchester United fans: Do you agree that Luke Shaw has the potential to become a world-class star? Would you cash-in on the defender if a club offered £60 million for his signature? Share your thoughts below!