Alex Telles may not be Manchester United’s new David Beckham when it comes to delivery from the flanks, admits Denis Irwin, but a former Red Devils left-back is backing one of the present to start proving his worth.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved to add a buccaneering Brazilian defender to his ranks late on in the summer transfer window.
Telles was snapped up after recording 26 goals and 57 assists across four years at Porto.
He is a dual threat in a full-back berth, with those qualities taking on ever-greater importance in the modern era, and an opportunity may be opening up for the 27-year-old at Old Trafford.
Telles impressed as a wing-back during a Champions League outing against Paris Saint-Germain, but has suffered a bout of coronavirus since then and remained stuck on the sidelines.
Luke Shaw has, however, been ruled out with an untimely injury and the England international’s misfortune could play into the hands of a club colleague.
Irwin believes Telles is capable of making his mark in the Premier League, telling United’s official website of a player that boasts Beckham-esque ability in wide areas: “It's an opportunity for him now, with the games coming up, to get his foot in there.
“And sometimes it's through lack of injuries that you manage to hold down the place of the left-back position.
“I mean, we haven't seen him too much [from him] defensively wise, but the Premier League is a tough league and he's a full-back, so he'll have to be good defensively. But we've already seen his qualities going forward in that game in the 70 or so minutes he played.”
Irwin, who spent 12 years with United in his playing days, winning seven Premier League titles, added on Telles: “There's no doubt that, on set-pieces, he's going to be a huge asset to us in that respect.
“Also, I'm not going to compare him to David Beckham! But it looks like he's got a fantastic left foot that can whip a ball in with pace, which our strikers would love to get in at the end of.”
United, who collected a much-needed victory over Everton last time out to ease some of the pressure on Solskjaer, will be back in action on Saturday when they play host to West Brom.