Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd star labelled ‘best in the Prem’ in remarkable praise from Solskjaer signing

Luke Shaw and Alex Telles, Man Utd

Alex Telles formerly competed with Luke Shaw at Man Utd

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has received big praise from former team-mate Alex Telles, who has called the Englishman ‘the best left-back in the Premier League’.

Shaw, who has been at Old Trafford since July 2014, saw new competition arrive in October 2020 when Man Utd signed Telles from Porto for £15.4million. The Brazilian international became Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s second signing of that transfer window, following Donny van de Beek’s switch from Ajax.

Shaw and Telles competed for the left-back spot for two seasons. While Shaw has largely been Man Utd’s first-choice left-back in recent years, Telles still managed to play 50 times for the Red Devils, partly down to his full-back rival being badly affected by injuries in the 2021-22 campaign.

However, Telles left Man Utd on loan in August 2022 by signing for Sevilla. Following that year in Spain, the 31-year-old left Man Utd permanently in July 2023 by joining Saudi club Al-Nassr.

Man Utd picked up a £4m transfer fee for Telles, who reunited with Cristiano Ronaldo in the Middle East.

In an interview with Portuguese source Sapo Desporto, Telles has said he is proud of the fact he managed to play 50 games for a club of Man Utd’s stature. The former Inter Milan player also admitted he was not able to feature more often for Man Utd as he was competing with the Premier League’s greatest current left-back in Shaw.

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“It was a mixture of adaptation and [the fact that] they also have a great player in Luke Shaw, the best left-back in the Premier League,” Telles replied, when asked about the time it took him to get into the Man Utd team. “In my first year we shared the games and the place in the starting eleven.

“But we got on really well, he’s a friend of mine, he’s got a lot of quality. Under those circumstances, with him having been at the club for a long time, I managed to play 25 games a season. 50 games at a club like United [in two years] is good. It was very good for my career.”

Telles discusses Ronaldo after big Shaw praise

Telles also confirmed speculation that Ronaldo played a big role in him trying out the Saudi Pro League with Al-Nassr.

“Cristiano Ronaldo was a very important factor in me coming here,” he added. “We exchanged messages beforehand, my agent was involved, but obviously, being the legend Cristiano Ronaldo, the greatness that he is, that we’ve known since Manchester United, clearly made it easier for me to come.

“We talked a lot, he told me what the club was like and that he was looking forward to me coming. I’m happy to have an athlete and human being like him… with all his dedication to getting me here. So all the effort I put in for myself is also for him, for Al-Nassr and for all the players who are here.”

So far, Telles has played 19 matches for Al-Nassr, registering two goals and three assists.

Shaw will be delighted with such high praise from a player who used to be a direct rival. The 28-year-old has become a key player for manager Erik ten Hag, providing vital leadership both on the pitch and in the dressing room. Due to the fact Shaw loves to get forward, he is often involved in Man Utd’s attacks, too.

Ten Hag has also been able to rely on Shaw playing in central defence when his usual options for that area have been injured or suffering from poor form.

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