Manchester United left-back Alex Telles was handed a start by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to face Wolves and while some fans will have been delighted to see him keep his place in the starting line-up, he looked far from his very best.
Telles arrived at Old Trafford in the summer to add more attacking intent than what Luke Shaw was offering. His numbers at Porto certainly seemed to suggest that he could do just that, after he provided 13 goals and 12 assists across all competitions for the Portuguese outfit last season, via Transfermarkt.
However, the 28-year-old looked increasingly lacklustre against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, as he was run ragged by the likes of Rayan Ait-Nouri, Ruben Neves and Adama Traore.
Per SofaScore, Telles lost possession of the ball ten times in the first half which suggests that he struggled to get a foothold in the game as he couldn’t hold on to the ball.
Despite his attacking instincts, he failed to record a single shot – let alone a shot on target – or register a single key pass, as per SofaScore. On the very few occasions he actually ventured forwards into the opposition half, he was caught in an offside trap once and lost his only duel of the game. Even Edinson Cavani, who had a shocker by all accounts, managed to win three of his duels overall.
Solskjaer will have no doubt been left unimpressed by the new summer recruit’s latest showing as it’s fair to say that he has offered very little since he first arrived at Old Trafford, with only one assist in nine appearances across all competitions, as per Transfermarkt, which is a pretty paltry return.
The Sun gave Telles a 5/10 rating and claimed he ‘frequently looked to swing the ball into the box, but rarely found his team-mates’, while The Manchester Evening News were equally scathing in their assessment by offering him a notch better, insisting ‘his crossing was rarely of the requisite standard for Edinson Cavani.’
It’s hardly surprising he was substituted for Shaw at half-time and he ought to be wary after he was outshone by the Englishman, who looked lively in his 16th appearance of the season.
United can count themselves lucky they find themselves second in the table after a last-gasp victory over Wolves, with Telles’ poor performance on the left-wing clearly causing problems for Cavani and co.
His tenth start of the season could be his last for some time after such a dismal showing – with a clash with Liverpool on the horizon, Solskjaer will have to start considering other options.