There’s nothing sadder in football than wasted talent and hopefully Luke Shaw doesn’t end up joining the long list of talented young stars who failed to fulfil their immense potential.
The left-back’s career has stalled since joining Manchester United in a £30 million deal from Southampton back in June 2014 and it seems increasingly likely this will be his final season at Old Trafford.
In fact, it wouldn’t be a complete shock if Jose Mourinho sold the 22-year-old in January, with recent reports claiming the two men are no longer on speaking terms.
Shaw clearly possesses immense talent - some of the performances he produced for Southampton as a teenager were Gareth Bale-esque - and is still young enough to become one of the world’s best full-backs.
"His potential is absolutely enormous,” Gary Neville, who previously helped coach Shaw with the England national team, said back in 2015. "Staying fit, settling down in Manchester and getting used to the expectations of a new club [are important].
"He could be there for ten to fifteen years and if he performs to his capabilities and realises his potential he will be one hell of a player.
"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."
Talent alone, however, will only get you so far.
Does he possess the required mentality to cope with the demands of being an elite-level footballer? Does he have the hunger needed to become a world star?
Pochettino's comments on Shaw will surprise people
There’s talk that United and Tottenham might swap Shaw and Danny Rose in the near future; however, judging by surprise comments from Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, who previously coached Man Utd’s No. 23 at Southampton, the chances of that happening might be slimmer than most people expect.
In Guillem Balague’s new book ‘Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs’ - per the Metro, the Daily Star and others who’ve flicked through the book - Pochettino had certain doubts over Shaw when he worked with the left-back at St Mary’s.
Pochettino is quoted as saying: “I felt his head was not in the right place to make the sacrifices and decisions that are necessary at that age."
This might explain why Mourinho isn’t his biggest fan. Perhaps little has changed since then, who knows?
Shaw admits he would like to play under Pochettino again
This might come as a surprise to Shaw, who wrote in the book’s epilogue, per the Daily Mail: “[Pochettino] used to call me his son, 'That's how good our relationship was. I've had lots of ups and downs, but when I was with Pochettino it was only ever up, up, up.
"He made me feel that I was the best. He'd show me clips of my games and say, 'You could do this better'. Not in a horrible way. Not I could have done better, but I should have done better, because he knows I can be better.
"I think with Southampton he achieved the impossible. We were one of the best footballing teams in the league… I do hope that I can play for him again one day. And I think he really wants me to play under him again."