Shaw has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the first team at Old Trafford this season and he was substituted at half-time during Manchester United’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Brighton on Saturday.
The saying goes that ‘all good things come to an end’ and, sooner rather than later, Leighton Baines’ time at Everton will be up.
As great as it is to see the Toffees hero marauding down the left flank again after four months out with a calf injury, the fact remains that Baines is in the twilight of his career and, at 33 years of age, doesn’t have more than three or four years left at the top with injuries taking longer and longer to heal.
Which is why, given the rumours that did the round in Tuesday’s media, Manchester United outcast Luke Shaw could be the ideal long-term replacement to take up Baines’ mantle at left-back.
It shouldn’t matter who’s who is charge at Goodison next season It’s no secret that Everton have struggled for a left-back in Baines’ absence. Cuco Martina manfully deputised in an unfamiliar role until Baines’ return to fitness, but he was a right-footed player doing his best but long term isn’t good enough as it’s no coincidence the defence has performed better since baines return.
Shaw could be the right man to step into Baines’ shoes and herald in a new decade-long stint in that position on the field.
At the right price Shaw must be a candidate for Everton to chase this summer if he sees no future for himself with United. It’s a risk but, with little in the way of true Baines replacements for when he eventually retires, it’s a risk worth taking.