Alex Telles came back into Manchester United’s line-up at the weekend to make his first start of 2021.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s support of Luke Shaw has seen Telles used primarily as a back-up over the last fortnight.
So upon getting his chance, Telles needed to perform and seize the opportunity. He did exactly that.
Telles took just two minutes to register an assist, with his corner landing perfectly for Scott McTominay to head into the net.
United’s most creative player
In total Telles created six goalscoring chances in the win. This was his highest total in a match since joining United.
The rest of the United team made nine combined key passes; Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata each with three, Donny van de Beek two, and Scott McTominay one.
This was the exact type of performance United needed out of Telles, and a reminder that he can offer so much in attack.
Luke Shaw’s recent displays have been good too, but Telles has a higher upside, and United are still to see the best of him.
Defensively Telles stood up to the questions asked of him, coping with the pacy and unpredictable Ismaila Sarr.
The Brazilian made two tackles, two interceptions, three clearances, and three aerial duels.
He managed 114 touches of the ball in total, having more possession than any other player, with Donny van de Beek next with 89.
This upcoming week
United have two crucial games this week in the Premier League away to Burnley and then Liverpool.
Solskjaer should have absolutely no worries about putting Telles in for these games.
Telles is experienced and will embrace the challenge of starting Anfield. This could be the type of match where he really makes a statement.
His display against Watford was an ideal way to kick off his year.
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