Shaw has struggled for Manchester United this season, despite winning the Players’ Player of the Year award last term, with his starting spot coming under threat from Telles
Luke Shaw’s starting spot at Manchester United appears to have never been under more threat than now as Alex Telles continues to star under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
The Englishman has endured a mixed season for the Premier League giants, having been one of the Red Devils’ best players last term, winning the Players’ Player of the Year at the club’s awards night.
In line with many of his team-mates at Old Trafford, this year has been much more difficult for the 25-year-old, with the left-back frequently coming under scrutiny for his performances.
Communication problems with left-sided centre-back Harry Maguire have plagued his season, particularly during the embarrassing hammering at the hands of Liverpool in October.
His struggles to deliver consistent performances for United have come at the worst possible time for Shaw, with Telles snapping at his heels for his starting spot.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Who should be Manchester United’s first-choice left-back for the rest of the season? Comment below.
The Brazilian had found it difficult to displace Shaw last season, in what was his debut campaign at Old Trafford after a £15million move from Porto.
But since Rangnick replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Telles has finally been given the chance to sign, starting nine of the 19 games the German has taken charge of.
That includes the last three Premier League games in succession, with Shaw having been ruled out of the most recent two with a bout of Covid-19.
Telles was particularly impressive against Tottenham on Saturday, providing the assist for Cristiano Ronaldo ’s winner.
A comparison of the two rivals’ performances for United this season would also suggest that Shaw has a challenge on his hands if he is to keep his place.
Shaw has made 21 tackles, nine interceptions, 17 clearances and won 64 defensive duels, as well as committing one error leading to a goal.
In contrast, Telles has been much more solid defensively, making 35 tackles, 13 interceptions, 22 clearances and winning 65 defensive duels, despite making six fewer appearances than Shaw.
Those numbers will not provide any comfort for the England international, who admittedly has been better going forward than Telles.
But the Brazilian himself has warned Shaw that his spot at left-back is far from secure as he returns to fitness in time for the visit of Atletico Madrid.
“I have great respect for Luke, not just for him but all the players in the squad, I know the history Luke has at Manchester United,” Telles said.
“I’ve come here to help. The first year wasn’t that easy for me but this year I feel a lot better.
“I’m working very hard and I’m a player who comes to help, the manager makes the decision and he’ll pick the player who is playing best. I have huge respect for Luke and we get on really well.”
Telles has handed Rangnick a selection headache with his impressive performances this season, which have surely left Shaw fearing that his status as United’s first-choice left-back is under more threat than ever before.