Alex Telles made his first Manchester United appearance of the season in the 1-0 Carabao Cup defeat against West Ham at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian recently returned to training after recovering from an ankle injury he sustained during the pre-season campaign.

The 28-year-old, who has been capped four times by his country, started at left-back against the Hammers.

Telles played 73 minutes before being brought off and replaced by youngster Anthony Elanga.

Alex Telles has a mixed night

Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

There were warning signs in the opening minutes when Telles failed to cut out a ball down United’s left-hand side.

The former Porto man was outmuscled by Andriy Yarmolenko, who then played it into Jarrod Bowen in the penalty area who dragged his shot wide.

It was only a few minutes later that Ryan Fredericks ghosted pass Telles and the right-back’s cutback was slotted home by the matchwinner Manuel Lanzini.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

It’s clear that defending isn’t particularly a part of Telles’ full-back role that he enjoys, he prefers to maraud forward and whip in dangerous crosses.

 

But against David Moyes’ side, Telles was defensively culpable for the only goal in the match just as much as Donny van de Beek was.

The £13.6m signing (BBC Sport) didn’t register a solitary tackle during last night’s match (WhoScored).

Attacking qualities

TOPSHOT-FBL-ENG-LCUP-MAN UTD-WEST HAM
(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Unfortunately for Telles, neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Edinson Cavani were in West Ham’s penalty area making explosive movements, instead it was a pedestrian Anthony Martial leading the line.

Telles attempted five crosses in the match, only Diogo Dalot crossed the ball more (6).

With United not possessing an aerial threat, Telles’ crosses were easily dealt with by Issa Diop and Craig Dawson.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

When Telles was signed, he was expected to provide stiff competition to Luke Shaw for the left-back spot.

There is an argument that Telles’ presence has pushed Shaw onto the next level, but Telles doesn’t have the all-round defensive and attacking game that Shaw possesses.

Telles like many other of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad players will have to wait patiently for another opportunity and on last night’s evidence, it’s hard to see Telles being anything more than an understudy to Shaw.

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