Ryan Giggs had the sort of career which is virtually impossible to replicate.
He’s been at the top of his game for over 20 years in the Manchester United team and has won almost everything a player can win at club level. It brings tears to the eyes to think about his achievements and, in some ways, it was more enjoyable watching him play at 39 than at 19.
Giggs was a player who got better as he got older and it’s a crime that he has hung up his boots when he could have played a bit part, cameo role, for a few more years – to the eternal delight of the Manchester United faithful who know class when they see it. Last season Giggs was still one of United’s best players on the ball.
And Giggs has played out his career with the sort of swashbuckling style which has become synonymous with the best Manchester United teams over the years.
So we will probably never see another player with his longevity or impact on Manchester United.
But if anyone can do it it’s surely new boy Luke Shaw.
At 18 years of age you would imagine that he will be in the Manchester United team for at least the next 15 years.
It’s a dream signing for Manchester United because, in one fell swoop, they’ve sorted out their left side for over a decade.
And with Louis van Gaal looking likely to employ a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3, at least for part of next season at Manchester United, Shaw looks as if he is going to play regularly as a wingback rather than a fullback.
He will therefore be honing his skills further up the park and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if, like fellow Southampton graduate Gareth Bale, he ends up as a winger.
Do you really think that Manchester United would pay 30 million plus for an 18 year old player whose qualities are limited to defending? Watching Luke Shaw go forward is mouth-watering. And he’s even better at attacking than defending. That, along with his age, is why he cost so much. Manchester United have signed a legend to be. And they know it.
He’s got great close control, is really fast covering ground and puts in marvellous deliveries on a consistent basis with that wand of a left foot. It’s a sad indictment of the English game that he was held back at The World Cup when he was clearly the best option for England.
He doesn’t have the trickery of Giggs but he could end up being equally efficient in terms of assists and goalscoring from that left side.
While some Manchester United fans have questioned the size of the fee for Luke Shaw we think that it’s the best bit of business that any English club will do this summer – Shaw is that good. 31ish mill for 15 years of service from a worldie? What’s not to like about that piece of business?
He is going to be an absolute titan of the game and we believe that if anybody can do what Giggs has done at Manchester United, or in football as a whole over the last 20 years, then Luke Shaw is the man.
Let’s see the brilliant teenager in action. Manchester United fans: do you think Shaw will end up playing further forward?