Luke Shaw linked with Southampton return in January

The 22 year-old has struggled to fulfil his potential at Old Trafford and favours a move back to his former employer.

Luke Shaw linked with Southampton return in January
(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Former Southampton defender Luke Shaw is being rumoured to be keen on a return to the south coast in the winter transfer window after several injury drawbacks at Manchester United since moving there in the summer of 2014. 

The 22-year-old was a prosperous prospect of the renown Saints youth academy and accumulated 67 first-team appearances for the club before his displays earned him a big money transfer to Old Trafford three years ago. 

Although the seven-time capped England international hasn't quite lived up to expectations for the Red Devils having featured in only 49 senior matches for the Premier League giants - a subsequent result of several injury issues, most recently he went through foot surgery. 

Shaw has always been a firm fan favourite at St. Mary's and is said to be warming towards a possible return in January when the market re-opens after being limited to just two appearances so far this term.

Would Shaw have to fight for a place in this Southampton team?

Whilst the Saints have most certainly not set the world alight, a position of 10th in the top-flight table shows there is progression under Mauricio Pellegrino since the drastically appalling era of Claude Puel. 

Certain individuals are definitely making their mark on this Southampton team already as summer signing Mario Lemina has made positive impressions since joining from Juventus, meanwhile, Manolo Gabbiadini is on the verge of recapturing his form of last season. 

One player who has performed consistently since being at Staplewood is left-back Ryan Bertrand - the defender has played in all but four minutes of this Premier League campaign so far. 

Shaw, if he did re-sign for Southampton in the near future, would surely struggle to find his name on the team sheet on a regular basis if Bertrand continues to put in these magnificent displays. Arguably, the current Manchester United man has years ahead of him but on current form, he has no right to walk into this Saints starting eleven. 

Does Pellegrino need to do business in the winter?

The argument of 'you can always improve your team' is something that suits Southampton perfectly but the cohesion amongst the senior squad is special and adding to it may very well damage the bonds in the dressing room, even if it is a former player returning to the club. 

If Mauricio Pellegrino is to be busy in January then he needs to focus on the weaker positions and left-back is not one. Centre-half is seemingly a spot of bother for some supporters as Virgil van Dijk, wildly reported to exit in the summer, has failed to perform at the same levels as last term and that should be the area of concern for the Argentine boss. 

That is if Pellegrino is given the financial backing after Christmas; depending on the team's position in the league could factor as to whether the board upstairs think it's worth investing millions into the team.