Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

LUKE MAKES DEBUT IN FRONT OF SELECT FEW ; Just 1,609 Fans See Pounds 27m New Boy Shaw Make His Old Trafford Bow for the Under-21s

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

LUKE MAKES DEBUT IN FRONT OF SELECT FEW ; Just 1,609 Fans See Pounds 27m New Boy Shaw Make His Old Trafford Bow for the Under-21s

Article excerpt

IT wasn't quite the Old Trafford debut Luke Shaw would have dreamed of when he signed for United for Pounds 27m in the summer.

Instead of being introduced in front of 75,000 in an electric arena, the Stretford End was empty and just 1,609 fans witnessed the 19-yearold's bow in the Theatre of Dreams on Monday night as he started for the Reds Under-21s against Sunderland in a 4-0 win.

Shaw formed part of the Pounds 155m most expensive ever recruitment campaign at United when he moved from Southampton in June but his new colleagues have now all made their debuts.

Ander Herrera was introduced on the opening day against Swansea with Old Trafford awash with anticipation. Last Sunday, Pounds 59.1m record signing Angel Di Maria made his home debut and was joined by Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind in the starting XI against QPR. Radamel Falcao made his first appearance as a substitute.

On a day the Gaalactico era was launched Old Trafford was the place to be on Sunday for debutmakers. It really was the stuff of dreams. Not for Shaw, however.

The left-back was con-fined to the bench against QPR before 24 hours later appearing in a red shirt at a near-empty Old Trafford for the reserves.

And it was just a month short of a year since he appeared there last October for the Saints in front of a sold-out audience when the teenager wooed the United support and talk began that he could be the eventual successor to Patrice Evra.

It was been a meteoric rise from a Southampton Academy product to the World Cup then to United as an expensive teenager.

But Shaw's upward graph has dipped with United boss Louis van Gaal declaring on the club's American pre-season tour that the defender was not fit enough. Shaw then suffered a hamstring injury.

Former United player Lou Macari watched Shaw against Sunderland as a co-commentator for MUTV and believes the full-back will cope with the character building exercise. …

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