There is a lot of mystery surrounding Shanks’ character and he has way too less screen time for anyone to predict something like this. Right?
However, there have been a lot of subtle hints surrounding him which made me think in this direction.
– Shanks promised Buggy that they’ll get to Laugh Tale on their own ships, but in the past 24 years he did not make any step to obtain the Road Poneglyphs (except the one that he PROBABLY has). It seems as if he was waiting for something. For someone.
– The Prophecy: In Fishman island, Oden and Roger heard a conversation between two Sea Kings about the birth of two sovereigns. One being Shirahoshi and other most probably being Joyboy. The two sovereigns had 25 years to meet at that time. Now we’re just one year(in world) away from that meeting. Luffy already met Shirahoshi at the 24th year but his devil fruit had not awakened yet.
– Gomu Gomu No Mi: Luffy ate the fruit around the 9th year since the prophecy. One year before Shirahoshi’s birth. That means that Shanks was trying to CREATE the next Joyboy (From the latest chapter it’s obvious that Shanks knew the truth behind the Gomu Gomu no mi). And if you read Chapter 1 again you’ll find that it was not meant for Luffy to eat the fruit. He probably wanted Ace to eat it. But when he heard the same words Roger said then he was convinced that Luffy is the one. Then he inspired him to come out to the sea and gave him the trademark Straw Hat.
– The Roger Pirates: It took Roger 14 years to just reach Lodester island but Luffy’s ALREADY knocking on the gate of Laugh Tale? Luffy’s voyages have always seemed a bit too convenient. Why was Oden’s last wish opening Wano’s borders? Why did Rayleigh go out of his way to teach Luffy? Why now of all times is Shanks going after the One Piece? Why did Roger give himself in to the navy suddenly after returning from Laugh Tale? What did Roger say to Shanks after returning from Laugh Tale?
– Now, The final part ‘The wild guess’ After reaching Laugh Tale, Roger learned the secrets of the world. He found out that he was not Joyboy. They were 25 years “too early”. Since Roger was gonna die soon, he made measures to make sure that Joyboy can appear in the next 25 years. He helped the Strawhats do a speedrun indirectly.
After returning from Laugh Tale, Roger instructed his crew to pave the way for the next Joyboy. He probably made these key instructions:
– SHANKS: To find the next Joyboy AND?
– ODEN: To Open the Wano’s borders so that Joyboy could reach Pluton.
– RAYLEIGH and CROCUS: Both are sitting at the gateways, Crocus just inside, Rayleigh just before Fishman. If Shanks is meant to find Joyboy and send him on his way, he will give him Roger’s hat to signal to Crocus and Rayleigh. Crocus makes sure “Joyboy” can at least navigate the Grand line. Rayleigh gatekeeps the new world to make sure that Joyboy is strong enough.
– ROGER: To inspire the next Joyboy. To make sure they do set out to the sea. TO CREATE THE NEW ERA.
In the latest chapter Shanks said that it’s time to CLAIM the One Piece. Because the wait is over. Before saying this Shanks was looking at Luffy’s bounty poster which would’ve made him sure that Joyboy has finally awakened. And hence he is going to claim the One Piece which I personally think is URANUS and give it to Luffy. The final step of Roger’s Plan.
Theory by A_man_of_cultur (https://www.reddit.com/user/A_ManOf_Cultur)