Shaw commits to Southampton
Highly-rated teenager Luke Shaw has committed his long-term future to Southampton and manager Nigel Adkins believes there is no better place for him to develop than at a club that "loves him".
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23. Luke Shaw
The 17-year-old left-back is the latest player off Saints' prolific production line, following the well-trodden path taken by the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Unlike those three, however, Shaw has no intention of leaving Southampton despite the rumoured interest of Arsenal and others.
He committed his long-term future to the club on Thursday and Press Association Sport understands he will pen five-year deal when he turns 18 on July 12, 2013 - a wise move in Adkins' opinion.
"He is a young player and we've got to protect him and look after," the Saints boss said.
"You can be built up so much then all of a sudden knocked down. We've got to allow him to flourish.
"As a young player, like several that we've had, we want to continually improve them.
"We believe we have a good coaching staff here, good facilities, good strength and conditioning, good medical team, good sport science.
"That allows them to play constantly and he is 17 still, he is playing in the Barclays Premier League and now he can physically cope with the demands.
"His one-on-one defending is good, his passing ability is good and he is improving all the time.
"I am sure there will be some stage where things aren't going right for him but that is why we have this great culture at Southampton."
Shaw had been compared to fellow left-sided academy graduates Bale and Wayne Bridge, although Adkins was not keen not to join in on such talk.
"I think we've just got to say Luke Shaw is Luke Shaw, and we've got allow him to be Luke Shaw," he said.
"We've got to allow him to play his football to progress, to improve. He is at a football club that loves him, that cares for him.
"He has committed his long-term future because he knows it is a good place for Luke Shaw's development.
"He feels for the football club and the fans. I am sure the fans will support him over the coming years."
Shaw has started every match since making his full Premier League debut against Swansea.
in November, with that run set to continue at Aston Villa on Saturday.
Saints can welcome back Gaston Ramirez and Nathaniel Clyne for the trip to the second city, although Adam Lallana and Jose Fonte are out.
Both have unspecified knee injuries that will see them miss the trip to Villa, but Adkins was not willing to reveal the exact severity of them.
The Saints boss was also coy when it came to transfer speculation and, in particular, links to Cagliari's Italy international defender Davide Astori.
"It is fair to say it is better to keep all your cards as close to your chest as possible," he said.
"I am not saying there is interest but, hypothetically, if people are having conversations it is better to keep all of those conversations quiet.
"We have done that notoriously well at Southampton. We don't want things to be done publicly in the media and we believe that is the best way to do it."