COMMENT By Richard Parks
Tottenham must resist the chance to sign Luke Shaw this summer.
There is growing speculation that Mauricio Pochettino will end Shaw’s Manchester United hell by taking him back under his wing following their successful 18-month alliance at Southampton that ended in the summer of 2014 when both quit for bigger clubs.
Indeed, Matt Le Tissier has claimed that it would be “obvious” for Tottenham and United to swap left-backs in the summer transfer window.
The Southampton legend recently told the Sky Sports website that he thinks it is staring all parties in the face that Danny Rose will join United and that Shaw will head to Spurs in a big-money exchange deal.
Le Tissier knows Shaw, 22, from his time at Southampton, where he graduated through the ranks to establish himself in the first team before joining United for around £30million.
Le Tissier told Sky Sports of Shaw: “Having worked with Pochettino before and spoken highly of him, it would seem obvious for him to go to Tottenham with Danny Rose potentially going the opposite way as he is obviously desperate to get back up north.
“I don’t think Southampton could compete in the wages department and the player would probably look at it as a backward move, so he would probably think he is worthy of playing for a club competing for the Premier League title.”
Rose has been strongly linked with a £50million move to Old Trafford in the last year – 10 per cent of which would go to ex-club Leeds as a result of a sell-on clause in the agreement secured when he quit in his mid-teens – while Shaw’s future is up in the air after a series of public humiliations from Jose Mourinho.
Despite Le Tissier’s claim, swap deals have been scarce in recent years, not just at the elite level of football. Modern transfers are just too complex.
But has the Alexis Sanchez-Henrikh Mkhitaryan exchange between a gamechanger? Will swaps become as common as they once were a few decades ago?
Certainly, it would make sense for Shaw to want to play for a manager who rates and understands how to get the best out of him after his suffering at the hands of Mourinho, whose sledgehammer management methods appear to have been dredged from a 1970s playbook.
But, if indeed the wheels are in motion for the England international to move back down south, Tottenham should pull the plug.
Shaw can still become the player everyone hoped he wold be four years ago, but it would probably take a year with Pochettino’s coaching and fitness staff to get him back up to speed, and to understand the team’s playing style.
Tottenham would be better off investing in the formidable talent of Fulham sensation Ryan Sessegnon, already the best player in the Championship.
He is a superior player to Shaw and comes with none of the older man’s baggage or mental frailties.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club are working on a deal to sign a 29-year-old left footer who would be a sensational signing.