Southampton fans across the country will be extremely happy with the recent news that Academy star left back Luke Shaw has signed a new 5 year deal with the club on his 18th Birthday, which he announced on his official Twitter account last night.
The left back has attracted attention from the larger clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester United in England due to his performances throughout this season making him a regular in the Southampton side. Although this new deal will not guarantee that Shaw will continue at the club for many more years, it does put Southampton in a stronger positions in negations to drive up the price if they were to sell.
Shaw has been compared to Gareth Bale, with both players coming through from the Southampton academy and starting out as left backs. Shaw shows other similarities within his game to Bale, such as being very direct with pace enabling Shaw to get forward as much as possible. He managed 82 crosses within the league in his 22 starts and 3 substitute appearances, averaging over 3 crosses a game. In comparison, playing on the right side Nathaniel Clyne made a total of 83 premier league crosses in 34 starts. Clyne is recognised as being an attacking fullback and for Shaw to have such similar figures in 12 less starts is very impressive. Shaw at 18 after a seasons experience in the Premier league will only make him better next season.
Although that Shaw has been unable to make much of an impact in goals scored or assisted in the premier league, it would be unfair to criticize him due to his age and responsibility in the team and secondly, taking into consideration Southampton’s overall goals scored (49) highlights that they found it more difficult to score than others. Southampton will feel that Luke will continue to progress eventually making a bigger contribution affecting the outcomes of games. We have already seen one Southampton academy star, Bale eventually bringing this in to his game under the guidance of Harry Redknapp.
If it were Southampton that were able to mould Shaw into that player, one who is able to change a game, then not only financially would it be beneficial to the club as they could get an eventual bigger fee but would show to other younger prospects that Southampton is the best place that they could be at this stage of their development. Overall though, it would be magnificent for maintaining their premier league status.
It is fantastic news then for Saints fans that Shaw has signed this new contract not only that they keep a young exciting player but it will help them maintain long term premier league survival hopefully becoming a stable premier league club.
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