Chelsea are reportedly lining up a summer move for Southampton’s teenage sensation Luke Shaw as a future replacement for Ashley Cole.
Luke Shaw has been hailed as the next best thing to have come out of the famed Southampton academy. At the start of his career, he was touted to be the next Gareth Bale, but now eyes in England are labeling him as the next Ashley Cole.
The 17-year-old was promoted to the Southampton first team this season and he hasn’t looked back since. The fact that he has had more Premier League starts than an established left back like Daniel Fox this season, is testimonial to the progress he has made at such a young age. He even received a call-up for the England U-21 squad in January this year, but had to withdraw due to an injury. Shaw has already been earmarked as the future replacement for Ashley Cole in the England national team and recent reports suggest he might replace 32-year-old at Stamford Bridge as well.
Both Arsenal and Chelsea were linked with a move for Shaw last summer, but neither materialized. Nigel Adkins, the Southampton manager back then, had vowed to keep hold of Shaw as he had a future ahead of him. But DailyMail reports that Chelsea have opened negotiations with the Saints over the transfer of Shaw next summer. The report also suggests that Shaw will be loaned back to Southampton immediately for the whole season as Ashley Cole has signed a one year extension.
The Blues have also been linked with Everton left-back Leighton Baines, who has been a fantastic performer for the past three seasons for the Merseyside club. But Everton’s high demands for their prized asset might deter the club from making a move. They already have Ryan Bertrand in their ranks and the 23-year-old has impressed when he has been given the opportunity.
The fact that a left-back is high on Chelsea’s priority list might suggest that next season might be the last for Ashley Cole at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s move in the transfer market might also decide the future of Ryan Bertrand. If Baines is bought as a replacement for Cole, Bertrand will remain the second choice left-back for few more years, while if Shaw arrives at Stamford Bridge, Bertrand might become a regular fixture in the first team while Shaw is developed for the future.