A bidding war looks set to erupt in the summer to secure the talent of 18 year old Southampton left back Luke Shaw, figures circulating at the moment are in the region of £20m. Chelsea and Manchester United look set to slog it out over the youngster and the demand for the player will surely delight those at Southampton who, if they are to sell him, will want to get as much as possible. So what’s all the fuss about?
So far for Southampton this season Shaw has made 20 appearances. He’s been part of a relatively settled back 4 that has conceded just 27 goals. He’s been a consistent performer so far this season and that’s shown in part by the fact he’s missed just 3 games.
Defensively he’s very sound, making 1.8 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per game, although in both cases it’s less than Evra (2.5, 1.6) and Cole (2.5,1.2). He’s also making an average of 3.7 clearances each game.
Perhaps the statistic which highlights how impressive Shaw has been this season is that he has been dribbled past 0.7 times on average each game, when you consider that as a full back players are going to be trying to take you on and get past you it’s a very impressive average. It’s also less than Cole (0.8) and Evra, these are experienced defenders at top clubs so you’d expect that there’d be less chances for players to take them on.
Another important facet to Shaw’s game is his impeccable disciplinary record. He has conceded an average of less than one (0.6) fouls per game and has been booked just once so far this season. Importantly this means he isn’t missing games through suspension and that’s an important part of being able to have a settled back four and such a good defensive record. That speaks volume of his attitude and suggests that he has what it takes to be a top player.
One area that Shaw should be looking to improve is going forward. He’s averaging just 0.6 crosses per game, attacking full backs add another dimension to an attack. If he were to move he’d be expected to push on and provide quality service, something which he is yet to show at Southampton. You feel if he could add goals and assists to his game it’d make him a much more rounded player.
Southampton have a talent for developing young players and Shaw is just the next in a long line to have caught the eye, for his development it might be best for him to stay at Southampton for another season. They’ll be hoping that they can hold on to the player but they might not be able to resist such a sizeable bid from either Chelsea or Manchester United. Luke Shaw certainly has what it takes to be one of the best left backs in the world and it looks like it’ll take a hefty bid to relieve Southampton of his services.