Remember when Luke Shaw was going to be the best left-back in the world?
So do we, and we’re still desperately holding onto that possibility.
Back in the summer of 2014, Shaw was 19 and had the world at his feet.
He’d blasted onto the scene at Southampton, made England’s World Cup squad and was being eyed by some of the best clubs in the Premier League.
Chelsea seemed the obvious destination for the youngster.
The club were in the midst of another revolution under Jose Mourinho, while Ashley Cole – the club’s first choice left-back for years – was seemingly on the way out.
Shaw even claimed to be an avid Chelsea fan.
It all seemed so well aligned – but it didn’t happen.
Manchester United stepped in, offering the Saints £30 million for teenager – coupled with a ridiculously large contract.
So, Chelsea went for Filipe Luis instead, who cost them just £15 million.
But why didn’t they try a little harder?
After all, Chelsea had the money and were favourites to snap up the youngster.
Well, it seems Mourinho had his reasons.
Speaking in 2014, he said: “If we pay to a 19-year-old boy what we were being asked for, to sign Luke Shaw, we are dead.
“We would have killed our stability with financial fair play and killed the stability in our dressing room.
“Because when you pay that much to a 19-year-old kid – a good player, fantastic player – but when you pay that amount of money, the next day, we would have had players knocking on our door.”
“They would have been saying, ‘How is it possible I play 200 games for this club, won this and that, yet a 19-year-old comes here and gets more money than I get?’
“It would have killed immediately our balance and we couldn’t allow that.
“I don’t criticise another club for paying it. They can pay what they want. I don’t have any comment about it.”But for my club we can say it would be very negative for us, especially when we can say Felipe is much less expensive. Sometimes you have to make decisions.”
Since joining United, Shaw has struggled with injuries, fitness and form, with Mourinho – now the manager of United – rarely giving the full-back a chance in the first-team.
However, he was given a rare start for the Red Devils in yesterday’s Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow, and was thoroughly impressive throughout – eventually earning the Man of the Match award.
So, maybe he will become the club’s go-to left-back over the next decade, after all.
We certainly hope so.