Alex Telles puts in impressive performance in United’s Villarreal win

Luke Shaw’s injury meant Alex Telles started for Manchester United against Villarreal last night.

Telles was sporting a new short haircut and he looked much improved from his last outing in the EFL Cup loss to West Ham.

When United slipped 1-0 down, it wasn’t one of their many creative forces who made the difference – it was Telles.

He produced a stunning volley from a Bruno Fernandes free-kick when United needed it the most.

Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images


That strike was a deserved reward for an influential performance at both ends of the pitch.

As per WhoScored, he was heavily involved throughout and his 86 touches were only bettered by Raphael Varane.

On top of his goal, he also provided two key passes, which was a tally only Bruno could better.

In contrast to Diogo Dalot down the other side, Telles was solid defensively throughout.

Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Obviously Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want Shaw back as soon as possible, but if Telles keeps playing like this, there’s no need to rush the England international back.

Telles hasn’t had too many opportunities to shine since his arrival from Porto, but this was arguably his finest night in a United shirt.

When the game was in the balance, the Brazilian also made a second contribution of the night.

He made a last-ditch block from a Boulaye Dia strike following a goalmouth scramble, and if that had gone in, Ronaldo’s magic late moment would have only salvaged a draw.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.