Manchester United vs Chelsea: Who Got The Better Value For Money In Terms Of Left Backs

Costa Shaw Filipe

Manchester United and Chelsea had completely different fortunes last time out. While Chelsea would’ve cursed their inability to claim another League title, the Red Devils couldn’t even finish in the top four and finished in their lowest position in the Premier League era. But, going into the summer, both clubs had one thing in common.

Both the Blues and the Red Devils were in need of a world-class back. For United, Patrice Evra’s declining form mean that the club were in desperate need of a long-term replacement. As far as Chelsea were concerned, Ashley Cole’s form and fitness forced Mourinho to deploy Cesar Azplicueta as a left back last season and they too need someone to fill in at left full back, so that “Azpi” could go back to his preferred right-back position.

Fast forward a few months and both clubs got what they wanted. Chelsea landed Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis for £15.8 million, while Manchester United made Luke Shaw the most expensive teenage in history after paying Southampton somewhere around £27 million.

While both clubs would’ve been pleased with their buy, the question of who got the better deal is something that is sure to plague fans of both clubs. Mourinho already started the war of words by claiming that the teenage fullback’s exorbitant wage demands would’ve killed our “stability” and “balance”. So the question now is, is he right? Did the Blues get the better deal or is Mourinho just off on one of his rants again? Or will the more expensive Shaw prove Mourinho wrong and flourish at Old Trafford.

First, let us look at the transfer fee involved. Depending on which report you read, Shaw cost United anywhere between £27m and £34m. Irrespective of the exact amount, the simple fact is that Shaw cost almost double what Luis did. While it is true that the amount looks a lot for someone who has only has two full seasons of professional football under his belt, the fact that Shaw also had four years to run on his contract with Saints means that the figure is slightly inflated as a result.

Luis on the other hand, just had one year left on his Atletico Madrid contract and would’ve been available for free next summer. So it belies all belief that Chelsea would want to pay close to £16m for a defender who turns 29 next week, when they could’ve had him for free next summer. Irrespective of what Mourinho says, as far as the transfer fee is concerned Shaw looks a better signing.

The second thing to look at is where they fit in at their respective clubs. Aged just 19, Shaw is very much a complete full back in that he can not only bomb forward with purpose but can also hold his own in defence. But the simple fact is that the Englishman loves going forward a lot more than staying back and defending. And playing as a wing-back in the club’s current system is a role that Shaw will thrive in, once he takes care of his fitness.

On the other hand, Luis is a lot more old-fashioned in that he is more defensively sound, when compared to Shaw and is limited when it comes to attacking. Solid defensively, but at the same time capable of going forward with purpose, he is exactly the sort of full back, Mourinho loves. So in terms of fitting into their respective clubs it is a tie.

The third and final criteria is their sell-on value or their long-term potential. It is in this aspect that Shaw is head and shoulders above Luis. Almost 10 years Luis’ junior, Shaw might well be a mainstay of the Red Devils’ defence long after Luis has hung up his boots. Although he cost his club a fortune, should United decide to sell him some time in the future, it is fair to say that they would get good value for money, while the same cannot be said for Luis.

All things considered, the more expensive Shaw is without a doubt better value for money than the more-experienced but older Luis. Irrespective of what Mourinho says, the Red Devils certainly walked away with the better deal, at least as far as left back area is concerned.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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