What did we learn from van de Beek’s first game?


As the game went on, the Netherlands international was pushed further up the field and into a no.10 role. It’s in this position that Donny really announced himself to the footballing world with his sublime performances for Ajax in the Champions League.

From that part of the pitch, van de Beek had more of an opportunity to roam across the field – once or twice he was even United’s furthest forward player, while he also occasionally flitted into the wide areas.

Positioned behind the striker, Donny repeated looked to slip balls into James and Jesse Lingard, and he provided several promising link-ups with the duo. He created an opening for Ethan Galbraith in the closing stages with one swift pass.

It may have been his first game for the Reds, but already the signs look good for van de Beek. His adaptability, range of skills and all-round ability level will give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer an extra option in 2020/21, a season that kicks off in just seven days’ time. And he’s already made a positive impression on Luke Shaw, who told us: “He’s done really well considering he’s only trained with us for two days. The most important thing for him is getting to know the players and knowing how each other plays, so we’ve got the whole week, next week, to slot him in. So far, so good. He’s a very nice guy so I’m sure he’ll slot in really well.”

Whether we’ll see Donny from the off when we take on Crystal Palace next weekend is another thing, given his lack of match fitness. But rest assured, over the course of the campaign Donny has a big role to play in this United team.


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