Man Utd have found perfect Telles role as defensively he’s not great – Hargreaves

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Alex Telles Manchester United 2020-21
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The former Red Devils midfielder believes a buccaneering Brazilian full-back can offer plenty to the Old Trafford cause if used correctly

Manchester United may have found the perfect role for Alex Telles in deploying him as a wing-back, says Owen Hargreaves, with the buccaneering Brazilian considered to be “not great” defensively.

The Red Devils moved to snap up the left-sided 27-year-old on transfer deadline day, fully aware of what he could offer to their squad.

An impressive return of 26 goals and 57 assists across four years at Porto proved that Telles is more confident on the front foot than he is a back one.

He is, however, able to fill a natural left-back position and may be asked to do so throughout a spell at Old Trafford.

Getting him further up the field would appear to hold greater benefit, though, with a lively debut against Paris Saint-Germain showcasing what he is all about.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lined up with three at the back in that contest, with Axel Tuanzebe catching the eye alongside Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw.

Telles was freed to raid down the flanks, with Hargreaves of the opinion that a system has been found which plays to United’s strengths.

The former Red Devils midfielder told BT Sport of Telles: “He is a good player, a great attacking player.

“He gets assists, works up and down, he's probably more suited to playing as a wing-back because defensively he's not great.

“In terms of assists, his numbers are off the charts. He's great on set pieces, he's a good addition to United, a modern full-back. When Luke Shaw was at his best last season it was when he played left on a back three, which might suit all parties.”

Solskjaer had to make several changes for a meeting with PSG, but it may be that he sticks with some of those forced upon him.

Tuanzebe has certainly staked a serious claim for a more regular role, with the versatile 22-year-old showing on his first start of 2020 that he is ready to see more minutes.

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Hargreaves added on the former England Under-21 international, who was providing cover for club captain Harry Maguire: “I love him. Good luck getting this guy out of the team.

“To be fair he is a good athlete, he makes good decisions, physically he has a presence, he wasn’t fazed by [Kylian] Mbappe or Neymar, I think he grew into the occasion.”

United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday when taking in a home date with Chelsea.

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