Luke Shaw was a highly sought after defender only one season ago when Manchester United snapped him up for £27 million in June 2014 from Southampton. Yet, despite impressing for the Saints, he has failed to live up to his price tag at Old Trafford.
So, can Luke Shaw make it at Manchester United?
It makes ugly reading when it says that Shaw only made 16 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils last season.
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The biggest cause of his stuttering Manchester United career so far is his injury problems. He has dropped in and out of the squad for lengthy periods, making it difficult to find a rhythm in the United setup.
Shaw has found it frustrating being on the sidelines, with injuries to his hamstrings, groin and a persistent ankle niggle, which has seen him miss most of United’s games in his short career at Old Trafford.
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THE UNCONVINCING PERFORMANCES
When Shaw has played, his touch has often looked heavy, his passing has been off and defensively, he has struggled to deal with threats from the opposing sides.
He was majorly at fault for Stephane Sessegnon's opener at the Hawthorns last season as he was exposed with his match fitness and playing at a higher level. At times, it looked like he was struggling with the burden of a hefty price tag.
His surges down the line had looked promising but when he lost the ball, his stocky build worked against him and he struggled to track back and help out with his defensive duties - his most important role in the squad.
This campaign, however, Shaw has looks fitter and stronger. He impressed in pre-season and has made a strong start to the season. He looks like he is finally ready to step up to the big time and play regular, first team football with Manchester United.
Last season, he showed glimpses of his great Southampton form, most notably against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge when United lost narrowly 1-0.
If he can stay fit and produce performances like that at Chelsea, Shaw could yet be one of United’s best defensive acquisitions for a long time.
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