Fri. Jan 15th, 2021

Man Utd


What Donny van de Beek gave Manchester United from deeper midfield role

2 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was coy at the prospect of Donny van de Beek starting for Manchester United at Southampton on Sunday.

Van de Beek excelled in a deep-lying midfield role alongside Fred in United’s 4-1 Champions League stroll against Istanbul Basaksehir but is yet to start in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old Dutchman has come off the bench six times in the league but the standard of his performance against Basaksehir is bound to fuel calls for Van de Beek to start at St Mary’s.

Scott McTominay has formed a fine partnership with Fred but was not in the squad on Tuesday night and Paul Pogba missed out again with a swollen ankle.

“The focus is on Southampton, then we have PSG,” Solskjaer explained. “It’s relentless and you don’t have time to pick one or the other tournament here. It’s the next game all the time.

“Donny’s a different type of centre midfielder. He can run forward more than, for example if we have Scott in there. I was very pleased with the contribution.

“We just need to keep this form going, we’re in very good form at the moment and looking forward to some difficult games coming up.”

Two-goal talisman Bruno Fernandes has started in all but four games since he joined United in January but was substituted with half-an-hour left against Basaksehir.

Provided United secure the point to qualify for the round-of-16 in the Champions League next week, Fernandes could be rested for the final group match against RB Leipzig but United have five Premier League games before their Carabao Cup quarter-final at Everton on December 23.

“You take him off!” Solskjaer laughed when asked when he might rest Fernandes. “Of course I was thinking at half-time maybe I should take a couple more players off but you don’t want to give the impression that we can just relax and you don’t take the second-half seriously.

“But Bruno is very important for us and if the game is won at half-time or after 60 minutes it’s easy to rest him.”

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