Manchester United must keep Alex Telles, with one possible exception

Manchester United are set to field an unwelcome approach from Roma for Alex Telles.

Di Marzio report Jose Mourinho’s Roma want to sign Telles amid an injury to Leandro Spinazzola.

Telles’ first season at United was disappointing, and it wasn’t really his fault. He ended up having to play back-up to Luke Shaw after the England man’s surge in form and injury free season.

Roma reportedly want to sign Telles on loan, which would be a foolish deal for United to sanction. In the event United did let him go, it would only be acceptable to actually get a fee for him.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

United paid Porto £15.4 million last summer. Telles has so much more to offer than he has been able to show and just deserves a run of games.

It would be understandable if he was wary he may not get this at United. Shaw has been outstanding and his Euro 2020 form highlights the scale of his task.

But a move to Roma would not necessarily be better. Spinazzola was controversially named in the UEFA Euro 2020 team of the tournament ahead of Shaw and he is due to return in the second half of the season.

United’s reasoning for signing Telles has not changed. Cover is required for Luke Shaw, and Brandon Williams is set to head out on loan, The Athletic report.

Shaw’s injury record has generally been poor. In the 2019/20 season he started just 20 out of 38 Premier League games.

Last season was more of an exception and Telles is likely going to have a bigger role in 2021/22 than he had last season.

The Brazilian could even start the season, with Shaw due back late from international duty. His presence allows United to ease the England ace back in after a long season.

Telles’ lack of football last season saw him miss out on Brazil’s Copa America squad. So you can understand his concern amid Shaw’s form, and while he won’t want to give up at United, there is not much time until the 2022 World Cup.

United fans have not seen the best of him. But due to Shaw, we don’t know if we ever will. It’s a good problem to have of course.

Kieran Trippier move is only acceptable alternative

There is one way that United could sell Telles and his presence would not be felt as much. Note that we are saying ‘sell’. A loan would simply be pointless.

A move to sign Kieran Trippier could end up being a dual solution at left-back and right-back.

Trippier showed at Euro 2020 he can play on both flanks, and he could provide cover for both Luke Shaw on the left and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right.

Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

United are keen on Trippier, but were put off by Atletico Madrid’s ludicrous £43 million price tag. If this can be lowered, or even offset by a Telles departure, then a move could work.

In an ideal world however United would have both. Wan-Bissaka and Trippier on the right, and Shaw and Telles on the left. This would be some serious squad depth and leave the squad equipped to deal with all injuries.

But as we saw last season even with the high volume of games, there may not be enough minutes to keep everybody happy. If Telles wants to stay then United should ensure he does. But if his mind is set on leaving then it becomes a little trickier.

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