Fri. Jan 22nd, 2021

Man Utd


Paul Scholes names Donny van de Beek’s best position for Man United

3 min read

Paul Scholes believes Donny van de Beek’s best position is as a deep-lying midfielder after his impressive performance against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.

The Dutchman has struggled for first-team minutes since arriving from Ajax in the summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer trying different midfield combinations in the early weeks of the season.

Van de Beek was handed a rare start on Tuesday night as United ran out 4-1 winners against their Turkish opponents.

The £40million summer signing started in a deeper midfield role alongside Fred, with Bruno Fernandes operating in a more advanced role.

Van de Beek moved further forward when Nemanja Matic replaced Fernandes in the second half and played a key role in Daniel James’ injury-time goal.

“Where he played tonight looked like his best position,” Scholes told BT Sport. “I think he’ll be willing to try and do that (defensive side), but it won’t be the defensive quality he’ll bring, it’ll be the link-up play between the forward players which is important.”

Rio Ferdinand questioned why Van de Beek is yet to start for United in the Premier League, after proving he can operate in a deeper role.

“Great night for Donny van de Beek – he’s waited a long time, big signing, £40m. I think Ole is the man to answer that question (why he’s not being playing regularly),” Ferdinand said.

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“He’s not one of those players that is waiting to adjust, I think he’s a player who has a great understanding of the game. He was educated at Ajax, as we all know, their academy is definitely about education.

“As you saw today, it was telling of the way he played. He can play off one touch, two touch, he can play as a deep-lying player, as an eight, or even as a 10 – as we saw later in the game.

“I thought it was refreshing to see Man United play a much more expansive type of football at Old Trafford where it wasn’t two holding midfielders, it was players that can play in there who can transfer the ball into the likes of Bruno, Rashford, Martial and Cavani.

“It’s getting the ball there quick, rather than late, so teams can’t adjust in time.”

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He added: “I really was (impressed). We’ve all been waiting to see him play. When you spend £40m on a player, you want to see him make more than just little cameos here and there.

“Today, he’s justified not only why he’s been brought to the club, but why he’s been rated so highly in European football. It’s the intelligence, he’s the one player in this squad who’s happy playing one-touch, who’s happy playing two-touch, who’s happy keeping it simple.

“He’ll sacrifice parts of his game for other people to flourish. That’s an important factor in any great team – you need players like that – and he’s one player I feel will actually make other players tick and perform better.

“I think Bruno was the main player today that benefited from him being in this team.”

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