After weeks and months of constant speculation over who Manchester United could sign to replace or fill in for the injury-prone Luke Shaw at the back, it seems the Red Devils have finally narrowed it down to two possibilities, with the first being the Brazilian Alex Telles from Porto and the other being Sergio Reguilon of Real Madrid, who was on loan at Sevilla last season. Both players have built up a mean reputation for their attacking prowess and could very well add a bit of flair that the Red Devils have lacked in that position for a while now. Now, This begs the question, are they exactly what Manchester United need? Are they even any better than Shaw? Let’s find out.
Are Sergio Reguilon and Alex Telles any better than Shaw?
For the answer, we must assess the attacking and defensive attributes that both offer, as opposed to that of Shaw’s, while also considering their fitness levels.
Luke Shaw’s fitness levels have been a problem since arriving at Manchester United in the summer of 2014. The Englishman has missed a mind-boggling 678 days worth of action. This adds up to an astronomical 113 games. His most recent injury proved to be a very expensive one when the Four-time European Cup winners were knocked out of the Europa League by a familiar foe in Sevilla, who went on to claim the trophy. There have been various other notable cases of Manchester United missing the former Southampton man in their defense. This further makes a compelling claim for a new left-back. Alex Telles and Sergio Reguilon have barely suffered any injuries since their debuts for their respective clubs, and this is should be great news for both the fans and the club.
Luke Shaw is a left-back who is capable of performing overlapping runs when required. He has also shown great positioning awareness to stop any potential counter-attacks or attacks in general. Over the years, the Englishman has produced flashes of brilliance but has often faced problems in keeping up consistency, and this is as a result of his recurring injury problems. When this is compared to the Brazilian and the Spaniard, there are staggering differences when speaking about consistency, as well as the quality.
Statistically speaking, Reguilon and Alex Telles managed a mouthwatering 1.3 and 1.8 key passes per 90 in their respective leagues, as opposed to Shaw’s 0.8 key passes per 90. Reguilon’s 1.6 dribbles per 90 eclipses both Shaw’s and Telles’ who managed 0.9 and 0.6 dribbles per 90 in their respective leagues.
Alex Telles is an accurate crosser who averaged an incredible 2.8 crosses per 90 in the league while Reguilon and Shaw performed 0.9 and 0.4 crosses per 90. His preference for crossing is what puts him behind the others in terms of dribbles per 90.
The above stats puts Alex Telles and Reguilon ahead of the pack in terms of attacking.
Luke Shaw has produced some incredible performances at the back but has shown times of inconsistency. On the other hand, Alex Telles and Reguilon are no defensive geniuses but show incredible creativity while going forward. They both fall under the category of “modern full-backs”, whose abilities are more inclined towards attacking than defending.
The final say
Reguilon and Alex Telles are incredible attacking-minded full-backs that can provide an incredible option for Manchester United. It’s worth noting that Reguilon is better equipped defensively as opposed to Telles, who makes up for the lack of defensive threat with more attacking threat. Finally, both Reguilon and Telles are great characters with a willingness to work hard and help the team. This characteristic is very telling of why Manchester United want them. Only time will tell where they will end up as the transfer window is slowly drawing to a close