In modern football, a full-back is expected to take on much more than just primary position responsibility for defense. If you join the attacks on the flanks, considered excellent standard winners and amazing footballers overall, this is considered the bare minimum for players in the role of full-back.
Manchester United now has a player in their ranks who can do everything mentioned above and a lot more in Alex Telles. The Brazilian full-back, who joined Man United in the summer, had some impressive creative stats at FC Porto last season, where he scored 13 goals and 12 assists in 49 games across all competitions.
With Luke Shaw on a long hiatus due to an injury break, the timing is perfect for Telles to set a marker and take the Premier League by storm when United against a fighting side from West Bromwich Albion at the Theater of Dreams starts on Saturday.
Telles is known for his constant wing play and excellent crossing ability when the opportunity presents itself, and those traits were very evident in his only start for United in a 2-1 away Champions League win over Paris St. Germain.
With players like Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford leading United attack in the final third, Telles is expected to have a real impact on the left flank going forward.
In terms of attack play, United have always relied largely on the left flank for inspiration, with the right flank still catching up as Aaron Wan-Bissaka continues to improve the offensive aspects of his game.
Rashford’s tendency to cut in from the left flank further increases Telles’ attack potential and gives him several opportunities to get the ball into the box.
In terms of defensive, Telles is considered to be pretty solid defensive without being as exceptional in defense as he is in attack. He has a lot to prove given the physical demands of the Premier League, but he certainly has the ability to take the league by storm.
He has a wand for a left foot. That’s a one-line summary of what the Brazilian can do with set pieces.
There was some glimpse into those traits when United beat PSG in the Champions League. Although United didn’t score a corner from Telles, the delivery into the box was devilishly world class and caused some real problems for the Paris defense. With real-world airborne threats like Edinson Cavani and Harry Maguire in the ranks of the United States, corners could prove to be an important area of improvement for the future as the United States has consistently failed to benefit from set pieces in the past.
Another potential area of impact could be direct free kicks that favor a player with the left foot. United does not have a specialist left-footed free kick player who is a first-team regular.
Juan Mata is more of an occasional hitter who alternates between the first team and the bench, and Fred, who was great in the middle of the park, isn’t a specialist free kick player.
Enter Alex Telles – The Brazilian is a pure striker of the ball from a distance and can do a fantastic job on free kicks taking responsibility alongside Fernandes and Rashford.
United really needs to find some consistency in their game after a difficult start to the 2020/21 season. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still thinking about his best starting place XI and constantly hacking and changing, the time could be perfect for someone like Alex Telles to play a continuous series of games, solidify his place and consistently strong performances on the pitch to provide.
With United urgently in need of an improvement in their home form domestically, Telles could be the start of something very special in the theater of dreams alongside Fernandes.
Manchester United F. . C.. . , Alex Telles, Premier League, Manchester, UEFA Champions League, Denis Irwin, Luke Shaw, FC Porto
World news – USA – Manchester United: The impact of Alex Telles
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