Denis Irwin knows what it takes to be a success on the left side of Manchester United’s defence.
Delivering his verdict on Man United’s October signing Alex Telles, Denis Irwin admits that he has been impressed with the Brazilian full-back’s desire to create chances.
The £15 million signing from Porto has only made one appearance for United and a positive Covid-19 test has disrupted the defender’s attempts to challenge Luke Shaw for a starting place at left-back.
But Irwin has backed Telles to prove his worth in Shaw’s absence, with the English full-back set to miss out on a number of games due to a hamstring issue.
“It’s an opportunity for him now, with the games coming up, to get his foot in there,” Irwin told United’s official website. “And sometimes it’s through lack of injuries that you manage to hold down the place of the left-back position.
“I mean, we haven’t seen him too much [from him] defensively wise, but the Premier League is a tough league and he’s a full-back, so he’ll have to be good defensively. But we’ve already seen his qualities going forward in that game in the 70 or so minutes he played.”
Irwin was something of a set-piece specialist during his 12 years at Old Trafford and Sir Alex Ferguson has previously stated that the Irishman’s name would be the first on his all-time XI teamsheet.
Irwin, who scored 33 goals in 529 appearances for the Red Devils, explained why United’s strikers will thrive with Telles’ delivery but refused to compare the Brazilian to former teammate David Beckham.
“There’s no doubt that, on set-pieces, he’s going to be a huge asset to us in that respect,” Irwin continued.
“Also, I’m not going to compare him to David Beckham! But it looks like he’s got a fantastic left foot that can whip a ball in with pace, which our strikers would love to get in at the end of.”