When Luke Shaw got injured last month in the defeat to PSV in the Champions League, Manchester United and England had every right to be very concerned. The young Englishman had really started the season very well; he was showing his full potential and starting to justify the 30 million that Manchester United paid for him. At twenty years of age Shaw has plenty of time to recover from the double leg break to his right leg though to see him play as well as he had been it may be a while to before we see that sort of form again.
With the lack of top defensive options at Manchester United already, the situation has really gave Louis Van Gaal another problem in this area. With the manager rumoured to have fallen out with Marcos Rojo and sending Tyler Blackett out on loan to Celtic it is hard to see who the club have a natural alternative to Shaw. Moving Darmian to left back and playing Valencia at right back is an alternative but this is not seen as a popular option with the Man Utd fans, playing Ashley Young at left back is another option but again this is a winger being asked to play full back, certainly not ideal. There is the possibility of moving Daley Blind to left back and playing Phil Jones alongside Chris Smalling, but that is a mistake waiting to happen with Jones. No doubt Van Gaal made a mistake during the summer not strengthening that backline and January might have to be the time he moves to bring another left back into the club. Always a difficult period to sign players but surely the club will have to invest.
The Everton left back has been earning rave reviews since he stepped in for Leighton Baines at the beginning of the season. Galloway is only 19 years of age but is showing a real maturity to his game at Everton, his ability to cover his centre backs is a real strength to his game, and looks like his future position could be at centre back. His lack of appearances at the top level might concern Man Utd and Van Gaal but after his seven appearances for Everton this season he is making it look a difficult challenge for Baines to get his position back in the Everton first team. There has been early speculation of a potential move from Manchester United for the England under 19 international whether or not this goes ahead is to be seen.
The Tottenham left back has currently been left frustrated with the lack of game time due to the form of Ben Davies at the club. Rose is now 25 and needs to be playing games if he wants to match his ambitions of becoming an England international. Highly regarded by Tottenham and by the fans Rose could come into the equation for Man Utd, especially as he was a target for Chelsea and Arsenal during the summer. Rose has a lot to his game from pace and directness down his left flank, but defensively he might not be considered good enough. He has worked very hard developing this part of his game and Manchester United could really give him a platform to showcase himself and give him a glimmer of hope of making the England squad for the European championships.
The young Spanish left back is one of the most in demand left backs in world football. At 20 years of age he is seen among the best in the world in this position and Manchester United are amongst the clubs reportedly chasing the Valencia man. Currently a Spain under 21 international Gaya has made the full squad on two occasions an achievement in itself when you consider the left backs available to Spain currently with Alba and Bernat in the equation. Gaya signed a contract back in May with Valencia with a clause of 36.6 million and will no doubt not settle for a penny less, clubs will be lining up to activate this clause and Manchester United may need to do so also. A move to old Trafford looks unlikely for Gaya as he would slot in easily as the first choice left back leaving Shaw on the fringes when he returned.
Morgan Fox & Charlie Taylor
Reportedly Manchester United has been scouting these two Championship left backs since the beginning of the season. Both left backs are 22 years of age and both are using this season as their breakthrough season into first team football. A move to such a big club for these lads seems unlikely right now, but they are performing at a high standard for young players at Charlton and Leeds respectively. Fox is highly rated and is on the radar for various clubs within the top division so Manchester United may feel that Fox is the one that they could get to keep him out of reach of potential rivals. Charlie Taylor has been on the fringes of the Leeds first team for two years now but has really stamped his authority in claiming the left back berth, keeps performing the way he is and he will be in high demand himself. It is refreshing to see a club as big as Manchester United going this route of scouting possible moves for young English talent.