In a very surprising move, there is quite a bit of buzz being generated about 21-year-old Benfica left back Alex Grimaldo being the next player on José Mourinho’s shopping list.
However good he may be, the former Barcelona B skipper would make for quite a puzzling addition to the squad given that Luke Shaw is generally considered one of the more reliable and talented players at United’s disposal.
It’s hardly a matter of grooming the next-in-line either since Shaw is only two months older than Grimaldo. The English defender may have reason to be very concerned at this development too, especially in the wake of United’s disappointing defeat to Watford a few weeks ago.
Afterwards, Shaw was singled out as the chief scapegoat by Mourinho in very harsh circumstances, “For the second goal, their player receives the ball and our left-back is 25 metres from him instead of five. But even at 25 metres you have to jump and press, but no, we wait. This is not a tactical but a mental attitude. An individual mistake. A mistake that went against our plan and our training. The guy gets the ball and we give him the space to progress.”
Shaw was believed to be understandably upset by this public humiliation. It has been reported that the pair’s relationship has since deteriorated while the 21-year-old’s anger with Mourinho singling him out is further justified when one considers that he went into that Watford game with a groin problem that was presumably hampering him for the second goal.
It is now not out of the realms of possibility that the famously ruthless Mourinho has now made up his mind to jettison Shaw from the club with Grimaldo his replacement. The Spanish starlet is known for having a wand of a left foot as he often takes set pieces for whatever team he plays for. He has a £51 million buy-out clause but United brass are believed to be confident they can prize him away for much less than that enormous figure.
It would be a spectacularly swift fall from grace at United for Shaw, who seemed to be destined to be a staple of the team’s left-hand side for the next decade or so.
Vincent Whelan, Pundit Arena