Crystal Palace will reportedly face tough battles in their pursuit of irregular Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw. The 21-year-old England international has found life immensely difficult at old Trafford since his move to United back in 2014, and repeated injuries have further exacerbated the cause for the former Southampton man.
Shaw has managed only eight league appearances in the Premier League this season so far out of which one was from the bench. His last outing was against Bournemouth that ended in a draw as Shaw was taken off in the 70th minute. His return from injury hasn’t been the swiftest, and manager Jose Mourinho’s terrible season puts him in no position to risk him for confidence recovery, as they struggle to get in the top four.
Numerous reports have stated that the defender is ready to move out owing to lack of options with Palace, Newcastle United and Stoke City being his prime suitors. With the all three clubs having completely different targets this domestic season, choosing will be a difficult task for him. While Stoke City’s only aim is to finish in the top half, Newcastle United are promotion hopefuls from the Championship and Palace struggles to survive relegation.
While any of them would be a demotion from United, we think regular football should be Shaw’s primary objective as he strives to find a regular place in the national team. He was a surprise inclusion in Southgate’s team last midweek and he would be desperate to repay the trust in the best possible way.
There are only a few full-backs in England who possess the dribbling skills Shaw has, which was the main attribute that brought him fame two years back, and Palace could hugely benefit from him. A move to Palace would also be beneficial for Shaw because of their setup. Palace has played with a three-man defence previously this season and now with a solid core of centre-backs available, Shaw could be a brilliant addition as a wing-back.
With the likes of Jeffery Schlupp and Patrick van Aanholt already available in that position, Shaw will have a huge competition for the place. And given his quality, he is the favourite to win it. Though Stoke City have been interested in his services, Shaw’s small frame doesn’t really suit their needs. And Newcastle United would have to survive the first season to increase their credibility.
However, a closer look at Shaw’s injury history is very concerning. Since moving to United, Shaw has been sidelined by two hamstring injuries, one malleolar injury, a facial and groin injury, and a tibia fracture. He has missed 83 games for them in three seasons, and it would be a pity to see such a talent getting absorbed to injuries. His next move looks increasingly like his last chance for a comeback.