Paul Scholes has questioned the wisdom behind Manchester United’s pursuit of Luke Shaw, which could see the club pay £40 million to confirm the acquisition of the teenager from Southampton this summer.
A deal that seemed certain
Manchester United initially formalised their interest in Shaw at the end of the club season, with the left-back having earned himself a place in the PFA team of the year and also in England’s squad for the World Cup.
It has appeared a nigh on certainty for some time that a deal will be concluded, with Shaw himself reported to have already agreed an enormous £100,000-per-week deal to move to Old Trafford once a fee is finalised.
However, what was once a proposed £25 million transfer - itself a hefty fee for an 18-year-old defender - would now appear most likely to be £34 million, with the latter the reported most recent offer Manchester United have made.
Saints could still hold out for £40 million for Shaw, who has made only 67 senior club appearances. Scholes, like many, is stunned by the figures being mentioned when it comes to shaw, and believes Manchester United would be better advised spending the money on a more proven talent.
“Far too often, good English prospects are put out on loan to Championship clubs, or elsewhere, at the expense of very average imports,” said Scholes in his Paddy Power blog.
“The proposed £34m transfer for the 18-year-old Luke Shaw to Manchester United is another example of something which has a bad long-term impact.
“Clubs are priced out of this market which is why they go abroad for cheap options - they’re not better players. For a left-back to be worth £34m shows how silly the game has gone. For that money I want a centre-forward who’s going to score 30 goals a season.”
Watch: Manchester United set to make Luke Shaw most expensive teenager of all time
Silent man speaking sense
The signing of Shaw will be a very good one for Manchester United, of that there is no question. Shaw is one of the brightest young prospects in European football, and has been coveted by Chelsea this summer.
But Scholes’ point is a salient one, and particularly at a time when England’s ability to produce talent is under intense scrutiny. Paying £34 million for an English teenager does not prove that their are quality homegrown resources in the domestic game, but rather highlights that they are at a premium.
This is evident in the fact that Ross Barkley is still at Everton - no club has been prepared to formalise interest in the 20-year-old, as they know his current employers can justifiably request an exorbitant fee given the nature of the market.
Barkley, like Shaw, is a very good player and these two will be the future of the England national team. But the trend is rightly a cause for concern for Scholes and numerous others. Just how much will the next Luke Shaw cost?