Rio Ferdinand believes Donny van de Beek brings something new to the table at Manchester United.
Van de Beek started a significant match for United for the first time on Wednesday night, with the Dutchman lining up against RB Leipzig in the Champions League having previously been restricted to starts in the Carabao Cup.
Ferdinand believes Van de Beek’s one- and two-touch football makes him a different proposition to the likes of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.
Ferdinand told BT Sport: “I think he brings something that isn’t there already, which is a lot of one-touch football, two-touch football, and movement, in terms of playing and moving and already looking for the next space to play the ball. United have got Fernandes in that position, Pogba can play there sometimes, Rashford etcetera… they’re players who want to take several touches and manipulate the ball. He (Van de Beek) does things in a very different way, so there’s a good blend maybe, a good balance to what they’ve already got.”
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Meanwhile, Owen Hargreaves praised Van de Beek’s selflessness.
“I think he’s a really good player but he hasn’t had the time to show it. I think he could be, best case, what Thomas Muller is for Bayern Munich – in that hole,” Hargreaves said. “Everybody tried to get Muller out of the team, but when he’s in, you can’t get him out, in terms of goals, assists, he’s very unselfish, I think he can press the ball, I think he works hard.
“In a midfield three, he can play as an 8, or a 10. It’s one of those, once he plays, it’s gonna be hard for him to get out. The problem is, you’ve got Van de Beek, a £100m Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes as well – so getting them all in the team with the great front three they have, it’s going to be very hard.”