Manchester United are ready to sell Luke Shaw this summer, while they are reportedly working on a deal for Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy
Shaw heading for the exit door?
According to the Independent, United are ready to listen to offers for Shaw in the summer after Jose Mourinho has reportedly grown frustrated with the lack of progress the Englishman is making.
Shaw made a promising start to his United career under Louis van Gaal, but saw his progress cruelly interrupted after suffering a horrific double leg fracture after a reckless challenge by Hector Moreno during the Red Devils’ Champions League fixture against PSV in September 2015.
Shaw missed almost an entire year, and only returned to action in July 2016. He missed a total of 51 games for United and there is no doubt that the injury halted his progress. He has since found it hard to break into the side under new manager Jose Mourinho.
Shaw has only made 13 appearances across all competitions in the season, one of which came as a substitute. He has only managed 6 starts in the league thus far, and was heavily criticised by Jose Mourinho with the Portugese manager blaming Shaw for United’s loss to Watford.
Reports of a rift between the two were swiftly denied, however things have not improved for Shaw since then and he has continually been left on the bench or left out of matchday squads. Shaw has not made a single appearance in the league since 29th October, although he has been nursing a groin problem.
The Independent claim that both Chelsea and Tottenham are interested in the youngster, with Tottenham’s interest depending on the future of Danny Rose, who himself has recently been linked with a move to Manchester United along with fellow full-back Kyle Walker.
Tottenham have a history of signing young English players, and should Shaw become available it is not inconceivable that they will attempt to sign him. Shaw would fit the profile of players they have chased in recent years, and Mauricio Pochettino could be the right man to reinvigorate his career.
Chelsea are also short at left-back with Marcos Alonso shouldering the entire responsibility given Cesar Azpilicueta’s transition into a central defender in Conte’s 3-4-3 system. Shaw has the qualities to play as a wing-back as well, so it is possible Antonio Conte could be keeping tabs on his situation.
Given Shaw’s struggles at United under Mourinho, there is probably some truth to the story. But Mourinho has frozen players out only for them to become important parts of the team once again in the past, and there may yet still be hope for Shaw at Old Trafford.
Despite the links with Danny Rose, reports have emerged today that United have already found a replacement for Shaw should he depart. According to Tuttomercatoweb, United are chasing 22-year old Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy.
Mendy only joined Monaco this summer on a five year contract, and has gone on to become one of their best performers this season. Mendy has made 14 appearances across all competitions, picking up 3 assists and 2 Man of the Match awards in the process.
Mendy is a very attack-minded full-back, with very good passing ability. He is also technically skilled and is a good dribbler of the ball. One concern for Mourinho will be Mendy’s tackling ability, as the defender is currently averaging 1.5 fouls per game according to WhoScored, and tends to be a bit rash with the challenge.
Mendy’s temperament – or lack of it – was at it’s worst during the 3-1 defeat to Lyon in December, when the Frenchman was seen kicking out at Florentin Tolisso off the ball after tussling with the Lyon midfielder.
Mendy was given a straight red after the game and was criticised by his manager Leonardo Jardim, and was subsequently banned for 5 matches by Ligue 1’s disciplinary committee.
However, Mendy does have a very good defensive workrate. He is averaging 2.1 tackles, 2 interceptions and 3.4 clearances per game across all competitions, which are good statistics for a full-back. His performances have caught the eye in France and Mendy is being touted for a call-up to the senior team in the near future.
Jose Mourinho is more of a fan of solid, defensive minded full-backs but given Mendy’s impressive statistics in that area, Mourinho should have no trouble moulding him into one. With Mendy’s technical ability, he has all the ingredients he needs to become a good all-round full-back as well, something that is sure to be of interest to Mourinho.
Should Luke Shaw actually leave United this summer, it is possible that United could swoop for the French U21 international.