After less than a week settling in, Donny van de Beek started his first game for Manchester United at the weekend.
The Netherlands international played in a central midfield role in United’s friendly match against Aston Villa.
Van de Beek looked more than comfortable mixing it in against a Premier League team.
He was eager to get into possession, and showed his class with a couple of outrageous turns and a backheel to set up a chance inside the penalty area.
A chance to adjust
This was a chance for Van de Beek to adjust to both the pace of English football, and to get to know his new teammates.
Solskjaer was impressed, telling the club website: ““Donny was maybe the biggest plus in the outfield.
“He’s such a finder of space and he creates time for himself with his timing and movement. I was very happy with his performance.”
It was a disjointed performance from a much-changed United team, missing key stars like Nemanja Matic, Fred, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes.
He did manage to link up well with Marcus Rashford, playing him in with a smart pass inside the penalty area in the second half.
Van de Beek almost ended the game with an assist, when he set up young substitute Ethan Galbraith, only for the teenager’s effort to drift narrowly wide.
The game gave Van de Beek an extra chance to prove his fitness and put himself in contention for United’s Premier League opener against Palace.
As debuts in meaningless friendly matches go, this was just fine from the new signing. He’s just getting started, and the best is yet to come.
Here is a look at how supporters reacted to Van de Beek’s performance…
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