After a terrible performance in Manchester United’s 6-1 defeat to Tottenham, Luke Shaw has begun to show some improvement.
The problem for United is that while Shaw’s form has picked up, it is not really enough.
He was one of United’s better players against Arsenal. He defended well, and created two chances, both from set pieces.
Yet United need more. And Alex Telles can offer more than Shaw.
Telles has played just one game for United since signing for the club, featuring in the 2-1 win over PSG.
A positive covid test has led to Telles missing the last three matches. He has now returned to training, the MEN report.
United won’t rush him. We saw that United rushed Paul Pogba back to action at the start of the season.
There are only two more matches until the international break and Telles will do well to make the bench.
It will be in United’s interests if he is not selected in Brazil’s squads for their upcoming games.
He can then prepare for a run of games from late November onwards as United’s first choice left-back.
He offers more
As mentioned, Shaw has made some improvements to his game over the past fortnight. He could hardly have got much worse.
But what Shaw can’t do is really impact the game in an attacking sense, as hard as he tries.
United’s diamond formation failed against Arsenal and was abandoned after 45 minutes.
With the midfield four so narrow, it really depends on having quality full-back play.
Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka both lack quality going forward. After eight games, Shaw sits on 0 goals and 0 assists. It’s not surprising and at this point it is what United fans have come to expect.
Alex Telles’ arrival is a reminder that it doesn’t have to be this way.
In just 66 minutes of action in Paris, Telles offered a tantalising glimpse of what he is capable of.
The Brazilian has an attacking X-factor which Luke Shaw does not.
In just three games for Porto this season he managed to provide two assists before United signed him.
Last season he provided nine assists, in comparison to Shaw’s one.
His illness-interrupted start has been unfortunate, but Telles should be worth the wait.
As much as Luke Shaw continues to show improvement, Telles has the ability to take United to a different level.
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