When Alex Telles was signed by FC Porto on the deadline of the summer window, many felt it could mean the end of Luke Shaw’s career at Manchester United.
While he never disappointed in a United shirt, it is fair to say that he failed to live up to the high reputation he has built with Southampton.
Just a year after moving from the south coast, the England international suffered a terrible broken leg in which he missed 11 months.
He’s been a regular for several managers since then, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who approved a move for Telles, seemed to be a thing of the past.
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However, after his performance in the Manchester derby, it is clear to see that Telle’s arrival inspired the 25-year-old to a new level of performance.
Solskjaer is desperate to see that repeat itself on the other side of his defense, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka is having his first career break at Old Trafford.
Never known for his attacking prowess, the £ 50 million signing was always defensive despite the struggles of many of his peers.
In the defeat against RB Leipzig, however, defensive rounds led to goals, with Angelino having several chances against the ex-star of Crystal Palace.
With that in mind, United have been linked to a January right-back move with Solskjaer’s first choice offering few options.
Kieran Trippier and Lucas Vasquez have both been touted as potential targets, with the former allegedly eager to play for his youth club.
Diego Simeone can say something about this though, as he has faced the former Tottenham man in every game of the season so far.
And since Solskjaer is suggesting the January window might be quiet, he may need to come up with a more creative solution to his Wan Bissaka puzzle.
Solskjaer has already shown he has no problems promoting youth and the club’s U23 boss Neil Wood has been vocal in support of the exciting youngster Ethan Laird.
The 19-year-old was named by Solskjaer at his first press conference as interim boss in 2018 when he listed the talented players in the club’s development system.
He has stayed true to his word and offers Laird regular opportunities for the first team, including his debut against Astana in the Europa League.
After that game, the United boss suggested that Laird had done himself a “good favor” but an injury hampered his development and Brandon Williams switched to senior image instead.
But with those troubles behind him, Laird shows the kind of attacking talent that has become synonymous with United’s full back over the years.
Earlier this year, Wood highlighted the qualities Laird could bring to Solskjaer’s first team.
“I wanted to see the kind of Manchester United traits – really good possession with quick attacks, creating opportunities and scoring goals,” he said in August.
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“At the same time, being defensively organized and strong and showing resilience has a lot of character in it.
“Brandon [Williams] especially and ethane [Laird] They too like to defend, but also like to attack. If you can make these two fly up and down they are a sight to see. It’s exciting and we’ve created opportunities.
“It was good to see, but demand for them and we demand that of them.”
As a right-back, he played a key role in both United goals in the U23 derby with City over the weekend and registered an assist for the second.
In a window that promises to be tougher for any major club in Europe, Solskjaer could have another star ready to push Wan-Bissaka forward.
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