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7 Tackles, 103 Touches: Outstanding Manchester United star shows he never should have been dropped

Alex Telles made his fourth consecutive start at left-back as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace.

The team have two clean sheets from these four matches, an impressive record considering how bad United’s defence has been this season.

Considering the poor form Luke Shaw had been in, the improvement comes as little surprise, and it is refreshing to see Telles come in and seize his opportunity.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Alex Telles of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on December 05, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Against Crystal Palace he came close to breaking the deadlock as his second half free-kick hit the crossbar.

Fortunately United went on to grab the win through fellow Brazilian star Fred, and Telles will be relieved to have got his career back on track.

Deserves to keep his place

Shaw was not even on the bench against Palace and United should keep Telles in the line-up despite an opportunity to rotate against Young Boys.

Telles never should have been dropped after his crucial volley against Villarreal. That was what United needed from a stand-in, he stepped up and delivered with a moment of brilliance when the team needed him.

His reward was to be dropped as Solskjaer rushed Shaw back from injury to face Everton, who played a major part in conceding the Toffees’ equaliser.

There were no repercussions for Shaw, with the England defender keeping his place despite costly errors and Telles was consistently overlooked.

Telles’ recent form in matches against Villarreal, Chelsea, Arsenal, and now Crystal Palace is showing what an error it was to discard him for so long.

He should never have been dropped after his goal at home to Villarreal.

The former Porto star has a chance to win back his Brazil place if he can keep his spot in United’s team. At the very least, it should be a more even battle with Shaw than it has been.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Alex Telles of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on December 5, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Key stats from Telles’ performance

Telles made seven tackles in the win, the joint highest on the pitch along with teammate Fred.

He made 103 touches, more than any player on the pitch.

Telles also won three aerial duels, more than any Manchester United player.

He also made one interception, three clearances, and created one chance.

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