Arthur Albiston and Denis Irwin both believe Luke Shaw has everything he needs to become a key player for Manchester United.
Still only 19, Shaw is a player with bags of potential and with plenty of Premier League experience under his belt already, he’s shown he can handle the pressures of top flight football.
As of yet at United, thanks to a succession of injuries, Shaw hasn’t been able to fully show what he’s capable of but Albiston is is confident that will all come.
“We have seen him play over the last two or three seasons in Southampton’s first team, but prior to that in the Academy teams and he always looked like a Rolls Royce kind of player,” Albiston said.
“He has got a great physique on him, he looks so smooth in the way he runs and he’s comfortable on the ball when going forward. He reminds me a little bit of Stuart Pearce because he will give you a kick when he needs to, so there is no problem there. He can play here for the next 10 years if he stays fit.
“I think in every game he has played, at least when he has been fit, he has looked more and more confident. Obviously, getting a move to a club of this size is a little bit different to playing at Southampton. You are always expected to play well here, win matches and then lift trophies as well.
“But Luke will get used to that without a problem. He has also got himself into the international set-up and I am sure he will become a fixture for England over the next 10 to 15 years. All in all, he is making great progress and I am sure there is still a lot to come from him.”
One of United’s best ever left-backs, Irwin knows a thing or two about what it takes to play in that position and he agrees with Albiston’s assessment that Shaw will become a player who is vital to United, much like he, Albiston and Evra were in their pomp.
“He had a whirlwind two months when he signed for us after playing at the World Cup, which is a lot to take on for a 19-year-old,” Irwin said.
“It took him a while to settle and realise what the club is all about, which is why pre-season is a good time to sign players.
“Luke Shaw will be a top player for United, make no mistake.” Denis Irwin
“Injuries held him back a bit but once he got in, he looked really strong and don’t forget he is only a boy. He has been very unfortunate with injuries, but he will be a fantastic player for us. I guarantee you that. I have no doubt at all that he will be our first-choice left-back for years to come.”
Were it not for a series of injuries, United may have already seen Shaw at his best but it’s still very early in his United career as he is only six months into his first season.
Patrice Evra showed United fans the importance of being patient some new signings and there’s a widespread belief from all those who have watched Shaw’s career until now that he has what it takes to be United’s left-back for the next decade.
He has been working his way back to full fitness and having completed an hour against Southampton, Shaw is in contention to finish the full 90 minutes away at QPR this weekend.