Manchester United sign Luke Shaw, becomes most expensive teenager ever

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As expected, Luke Shaw has sealed his record-breaking move to Manchester United.

The 18-year-old left back has signed a four-year deal at Old Trafford, with the option of extending for another year, as he becomes the most expensive teenager in world soccer history.

[ RELATED: Why Shaw is worth $60 million ]

Shaw has 67 appearances for Southampton under his belt as the youngster, who has come up through Saints’ renowned academy, will now become United’s first-choice left back under new manager Louis van Gaal.

Speaking about his move to United’s club website, Shaw was delighted to get the chance to work with van Gaal and play at Old Trafford.

“I am thrilled and excited to be joining Manchester United. I have been at Southampton since I was eight years old and I would like to thank them and the fans for everything they have done for me.  I want to continue to progress my career and joining United is the ideal place for me to do that. I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life and also looking forward to learning from the world-class players and management at the club.”

United’s assistant manager Ryan Giggs hailed Shaw’s transfer and said the left back has “all the attributes to become a top player.”

Shaw played in the World Cup for England, becoming the youngest every player to do so, and played the full 90 minutes against Costa Rica on Tuesday. Three days later he has completed this monster deal as he leaves Southampton a whole lot richer and able to call on more of the talent they possess in their academy.

Saints’ Executive Director Les Reed had this to say: “While we are sad to see Luke depart the club, we fought to ensure that we got the right deal for a player in whom we have invested a great deal of work over the past decade. Luke joined us at the age of eight, and our academy staff and coaches have helped him to progress into a top-class player. He will leave our club and carry forward our top-class pedigree, as others have done before. This deal is a good one for Southampton Football Club, and hopefully sends a clear message to other clubs wishing to bid for our players. Luke’s transfer fee will be reinvested into the team as our new manager, Ronald Koeman, builds for the new season and for years to come.”

Shaw’s deal will delight United’s fans, as it comes just a day after the Red Devils splashed out $50 million on Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao. That monumental rebuild that United have been promising for quite some time has finally come to fruition.

An 18-year-old from South London is set to be the focal point of the Red Devils rise back to the top of the Premier League’s summit.

No pressure, Luke.

Report: USMNT’s Arriola drawing transfer interest abroad, in MLS

AP Photo/LM Otero
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Paul Arriola’s motor was constantly running as the United States men’s national team claimed its sixth Gold Cup title, and it could drive him all the way from Club Tijuana to Europe or a prime spot on an MLS roster.

There’s a snag, though.

[ MORE: Everton wins Europa opener ]

Arriola is reportedly wanted by Real Salt Lake and clubs in both the Netherlands and Portugal, but the LA Galaxy has what Goal.com describes a “dubious homegrown player” claim on Arriola, who participated in a minimal of practices with the Galaxy when he was younger.

As you’ll see below, there isn’t much “homegrown” about it and, to its critics, it is peak MLS monopolized tomfoolery. Here’s how Goal describes it:

“He was already a U.S. youth national team player when he traveled the 120 miles from Chula Vista to take part in a handful of training sessions with the LA Galaxy academy and eventually the Galaxy first team.

“The Galaxy are believed to hold a homegrown player claim on Arriola, and would have the right of first refusal on making Arriola an offer if he comes to MLS. The Galaxy’s current salary-cap situation might not allow them to make a serious bid for Arriola.”

But… here’s how the Galaxy described his choosing to sign for TJ instead of a pro deal from LA in 2013:

“It’s a little disappointing,” Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday. “He went through our system, we offered him a contract and he decided to move on and go somewhere else. But that’s going to happen. It’s something that has happened before, and it’s something that will happen again.”

Arriola’s response in the same article? “I thank the Galaxy for giving me a wonderful opportunity to train with their first team and be a part of their first team which really taught me a lot.” That doesn’t read as much like he “went through their system.” He played in at least one U-18 game, debuting in October 2012, did more training with TJ in December 2012, and signed for the Mexican side in May 2013.

Should that qualify him as Homegrown?

https://www.transfermarkt.com/paul-arriola/leistungsdaten/spieler/189876

Did Arriola spent significant time with LA, or is it possible the Galaxy might reap rewards from having an already established youth national teamer to practice when he was a kid? Whether you’re okay with that or not, consider that it encourages clubs to pilfer rights without actually registering or training the player.

Not to mention there is no guarantee that playing in the Netherlands or Portugal will be better for his development than MLS. Benfica or Ajax and potential action in European tournaments? Maybe. NAC Breda or Tondela? Maybe not.

Nevermind the quagmire that is American youth soccer clubs’ not earning money from transfer fees, the Arriola drama seems baseless. We don’t know the Galaxy will hold the player hostage, but they would actually be depriving MLS of a talent, as LA would theoretically get nothing should TJ sell him to a European club.

In any event, check out Arriola’s use chart from Tijuana and you’ll see why he’s valued by Bruce Arena as well as his suitors. He’s a Swiss Army Knife. Here’s hoping Tinseltown doesn’t stop him from a proper next step (assuming he’s ready to leave Liga MX).