Alex Telles has a big pre-season ahead for Manchester United.
The Portuguese left-back was signed for just £15.4million (BBC) last year. And he was expected to play a major role in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Instead, Telles’s arrival did something else. It transformed Luke Shaw into arguably the best left-back on the planet.
That is no bad thing. But it does raise questions over Telles’s future. After all, how long will he stick around if Shaw is playing week in, week out?
This summer is vital for the 28-year-old. With Shaw having a break after his outstanding Euro 2020, Telles should feature regularly in pre-season.
Now is the time for him to prove his worth. And to show he is up for the fight.
Rumours continue that Kieran Trippier could join United this summer. And his versatility could raise more questions regarding Telles’s future.
For now, though, the Portuguese has the ball in his court. A fine summer could convince Solskjaer to play Telles more regularly.
The games will come thick and fast, and squad rotation will be more important than ever.
Telles played 24 times for United last season, providing four assists. But only nine of those games came in the Premier League.
He may get more chances this upcoming campaign. But this summer can set the tone. Play well in the friendlies and Shaw may have to spend a few more league games on the bench.
A threat too good to lose
With 26 goals and 57 assists during his time at Porto, Telles is more than just a defender. Yet Shaw’s form for his country suggests he is ready to add some new numbers of his own.
Telles is a fine attacking full-back who United would do well to keep. His time will come, but Shaw’s spot is his to lose.
Just how much Telles wants to make it at United could be seen while his fellow left-back has his feet up and in the opening weeks of the campaign.