It is true that Shaw is rightly catching the eye of Premier League managers, media and fans with his commanding performances at left-back this season, showing maturity beyond his years.
He’s won 60 percent of his tackles this season, according to Squawka, and has been part of an impressive, refreshing Southampton defensive line-up.
Paul Collins of the Daily Mail reported on Sunday that Liverpool have also entered the race to sign English football’s hottest prospect, but with the Reds heading for Champions League football next season, it seems difficult to believe Shaw would be ready for such a challenge just yet.
Shaw has been touted as being worth £30 million, as per Adrian Kajumba and David Woods of the Daily Star, and only a regular first-team place could justify such a hefty price tag.
But whilst his performances have been very impressive for Southampton this season, starting all but three of their 31 league games, there is a big difference between the mid-table of the Premier League and the demands of a joint Premier League and Champions League assault.
Would any 18-year-old be ready to take such a gigantic step so early in his career? No. Have players' careers fallen apart following big money moves, and all the expectations that come with them, early in their careers? Yes.
With all due respect to Southampton, Shaw doesn’t experience the same intensity of pressure at St Mary’s as he would at Anfield or Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford, for that matter.
Liverpool fans would expect, if not demand, a full-back of the highest calibre to be playing every game in every tournament in exchange for £30 million of the club’s transfer kitty.
Whilst a long-term replacement for Jose Enrique may well be on the Anfield shopping list, it would certainly raise eyebrows for Liverpool to spend such an amount on one defensive player in a team that is centred so much on a formidable attack.
Furthermore, Shaw’s inadequacies going forward may not make him the ideal Brendan Rodgers’ type wing-back the Northern Irish manager desires.
Maybe One Day
At the moment, Shaw is in the best place possible for his career—playing Premier League football week in and week out at a club that has handled his development perfectly so far.
Shaw’s priority right now needs to be his continued development, finding himself as a player and a man. If he’s still a world-class talent farther down the line, then he will have his pick of not only England’s, but also Europe’s best clubs too.
An overwhelming amount of pressure from an over-inflated transfer fee on such young shoulders could really stall a career.
Unless you’re Jordan Henderson.