‘Get Donny van de Beek into the team’, was the call from United fans after another impressive cameo performance against Newcastle.
Van de Beek has experience playing in the Champions League with Ajax and he will be ready to handle the occasion if selected.
Fitting the Dutchman into the starting XI is not quite so straightforward.
Somebody has to drop out, and who that should be, is contentious.
Bruno Fernandes will start. He has been named as captain for the fixture.
Best way to fit him in?
So that leaves three options. Van de Beek could come into play a deeper role in midfield. But this will probably be Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, while Fred and Scott McTominay each have a case themselves.
Van de Beek’s best option may be on the left. The MEN reported last week he would be open to playing this role and United are considering using him there.
Getting Van de Beek touches in the final third and inside the penalty area is key to his success, so playing him further forward could work.
But for this to work, United can only start one of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford up front.
While Martial is fresh, Rashford played well against Newcastle and the Frenchman could be used as a super-sub.
With a trio of Van de Beek, Fernandes and Mata behind him, Rashford would not feel too isolated.
That is a lot of creativity packed into a front four, before you even add in Paul Pogba’s passing range.
There is a sacrifice by not starting both Martial and Rashford, but there has to be a concession somewhere if Van de Beek is to start.
The third option would be for Van de Beek to simply take Juan Mata’s spot on the right and ask him to try and replicate the Spaniard’s performance on Saturday.
This would be a way to get Van de Beek in, while keeping Pogba and Fernandes, while also using Rashford and Martial.
United need to find a way for this to work, because it will get even harder when Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani become available.
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