Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted with new signing Donny van de Beek’s performance in Manchester United’s friendly with Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Red Devils lost 1-0 at Villa Park, but Van de Beek turned out for United for the first time, and didn’t disappoint.
Manchester United manager Solskjaer praised the way in which the 23-year-old found space for himself in his attacking midfield position.
“Donny was maybe the biggest plus outfield,” Solskjaer told MUTV.
“He’s such a finder of space and creates time for himself with his timing and movement. I was very happy with his performance.”
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World Cup winner Paul Pogba played no part in the friendly, as he has just recovered following a positive test for coronavirus.
The Frenchman will be hoping to slot straight back into the team in front of Van de Beek, with the Dutchman sweeping up behind him.
But after Van de Beek’s first start, in which he proved he’s effective in a more advanced central position, Solskjaer may be looking to keep the Dutchman where he is and play Pogba out of position – something Rio Ferdinand warned could happen.
“Well, that is the big question, I think,” Ferdinand told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“Listen, if you say you’re going to play your best players in that midfield and you’re going to play three, then you’d say Paul Pogba playing in the holding role and [Bruno] Fernandes and Van de Beek being the guys that are playing around that, a bit more free and able to move around and create.
“Is that Paul Pogba’s best position? I would argue not. But you have to look at what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to do. Does he want his best players on the pitch or is he talking about players fitting in a system?
“I think that’s the intriguing part for me going into the season from Man United’s perspective in terms of the signing that they made, that player.
“Is he just going to be named as one of the best players in the team and he’s going to play, or are we going to say we want the system for the players to fit into.
“It’s a big call and that remains to be seen, but I still think Manchester United will have some sort of movement and there will be additions in this squad going into the season.”
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