After signing from Southampton for £27million, Manchester United’s Luke Shaw has been sidelined for a month after picking up a hamstring injury.
The teenager, 19, who was signed to replace Patrice Evra has been struggling for fitness since arriving and this setback will now give Louis Van Gaal the all clear to pursue other targets.
The England left-back had a healthy campaign last season featuring for Southampton 35 times in the Premier League before heading north.
Shaw played for United on the pre-season tour to America but was labelled ‘unfit’ by Van Gaal giving Ashley Young the chance to earn regular game time while the Englishman sometimes trained alone.
United defeated Valencia 2-1 at Old Trafford last night and Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Jonny Evans were all left out after picking up injuries and Van Gaal admitted he doesn’t know if the latter two will return.
Van Gaal has been heavily linked to Daley Blind, the Dutch international who can play left-back. The option to move for the Ajax player has now become a priority with Shaw not looking to return until the middle of September and £15m could tempt Ajax to sell.
Marcos Rojo is expected to sign for United if Sporting Lisbon allow the Argentine to leave for a cheaper sum than they are holding out for. Rojo can also play left-back but with neither player expected to sign before Saturday’s game against Swansea City, Ashley Young or Reece James could be given a rare start.
Robin van Persie is another player searching for fitness while Michael Carrick is expected to be out another seven weeks.