Martin Keown has claimed that he advised Arsenal to buy Luke Shaw when the Manchester United defender was just a 16-year-old.
In an interview with The Sun, Martin Keown has said that he was left impressed by Luke Shaw when he first saw him playing for Southampton as a 16-year-old. The former Arsenal defender also claimed that he suggested the Englishman’s name to the Gunners, much before he was snapped up by Manchester United.
Luke Shaw made the world get up and take note of his talent very early into his career, having broken into the Southampton first-team setup as a 16-year-old. Three productive years at St. Mary’s gave way to a burgeoning reputation and a horde of clubs vying for his signature, before Manchester United landed him.
But, Shaw could well have made his way to Arsenal instead of Manchester United, had Arsene Wenger paid heed to Martin Keown’s advice. The former English international has claimed that he urged the Gunners to sign the 23-year-old six years ago, after being left impressed by the then-teenager within moments.
“I first watched him as a 16-year-old playing on a training pitch for Southampton against Reading. In the first ten seconds, he whipped a ball across the box with such power and precision that I just thought, ‘Wow.’ I was standing next to an Arsenal scout and I immediately said, ‘You’ve got to sign him.’”
Unfortunately for Keown, Arsenal chose to concentrate on developing Kieran Gibbs before signing Nacho Monreal in the summer of 2013. The subsequent summer window saw Manchester United make Shaw the most expensive teenager at the time.
Since then, however, life has been anything but a smooth sailing for the English international, who still hasn’t managed to establish himself as the first-choice left-back at Old Trafford. His relationship with Jose Mourinho, for the most part, has been sketchy, although the Manchester United boss is reportedly giving Shaw a final chance to prove himself this season.
And, it goes without saying that the 23-year-old has grabbed the opportunity with both hands, having arguably been the best player for Manchester United thus far. His exploits have also helped him make a return to the English National Squad, and his stock finally seems to be on the rise again.
As far as Arsenal are concerned, despite not heeding Keown’s advice, they seem to be doing pretty well in the left-back department, with Monreal being one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League over the last few seasons. Shaw though, seems motivated to get his career back on track, both for Manchester United and England.