Luke Shaw
At just 19 Southampton's Luke Shaw got selected for England ahead of Ashley Cole Getty Images

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has backed the Red Devils' latest signing Luke Shaw for long-term success at Old Trafford.

United signed the left-back from Southampton for a fee reported to be around £27m. The 19-year-old had two impressive seasons with the Saints and his brilliant run for the Premier League club saw England manager Roy Hodgson select him ahead of Ashley Cole for the recently concluded World Cup.

Neville believes United did right in investing heavily on Shaw as the former Red Devils defender says the England international will spend a lot of years at Old Trafford.

"I am trying to keep guarded here about the size of talent that exists in this footballer," Neville told the Manchester Evening News.

"You are talking about real brilliant potential. The reason United spent £27m on a left-back at his age is because they see the huge talent and I can only endorse that talent."

"You have to watch him at close hand to realise that this is an incredible and hugely talented football player. Luke Shaw is fantastic," he added.

Meanwhile, Neville has urged United fans to be patient with Shaw. The Old Trafford favourite claims their latest signing needs time to settle and will "blossom" once he matures over the years.

"United fans have got to understand, and this is not the boy's fault, is that when you sign someone at that age for £27m, you don't get perfection straight away but you have to give him time and space to develop," Neville said.

"I think Luke will need time to settle in, as any 19-year-old boy would coming to Manchester. I am expecting he will do well this season but you will really see a really quite fantastic full-back in 18 months to two years."

"When he matures and gets used to the club and settles into the environment and understands the expectation, he will blossom," the former England international concluded.