Seven winners from Manchester United's opening pre-season game

Manchester United played a total of 23 players in the pre-season win at Derby County. The workout was an important one and a number of key players stood out.

Each and every player should be pleased to get some minutes in, although some had more to shout about than others.

Here is a look at the seven players who really impressed and left the field with their reputations enhanced.

Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Tom Heaton

New signing Tom Heaton enjoyed the perfect debut as he kept a clean sheet and showed his quality and calmness inside his penalty area.


Heaton mopped up an early Derby attack with ease when his defence had lost their bearings.

He then made a point blank diving save from a corner when a header had looked goalbound.

If he is promoted to number two goalkeeper if one of the players in front of him leaves then Heaton gave United fans reason to feel comfortable that he can fill in an understudy.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Brandon Williams

Williams looked sharp and competitive and determined to prove a point.

He barely played last season and his performance against Derby showed that he cannot have another wasted campaign.

A loan is likely in his best interests so he can play regularly and any clubs monitoring will have been impressed with his efforts here.

Williams got forward as often as he could and was spirited defensively. He looked like he wanted to show he should be a Manchester United player, regardless of the quality in front of him.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Tahith Chong

This goal was Tahith Chong’s going away present before he begins his pre-agreed loan at Birmingham City.

The strike will give Chong a confidence boost after a mixed couple of loans last season, and it is a reminder of the quality he has.

United have long believed Chong can be a difference maker and for one afternoon at least, he showed it.

Now he needs to follow this up with a successful loan and then United can take another look at him.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Dylan Levitt

Levitt joined James Garner as part of an effective midfield duo in the first 45 minutes.

Garner’s performance was competent and controlled as you would expect, and Levitt matched him.

Levitt looked bright as he passed the ball about and seemed very at home in United’s midfield.

Another loan will surely beckon. Levitt’s options should have improved after this performance. He should be looking to show what he can do at Championship level or even consider a move to Portugal or the Netherlands.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Facundo Pellistri

Young Uruguayan Facundo Pellistri was the big winner at Pride Park. This was his first game with the senior team and he managed to bag a goal.

The way he took his goal was exquisite, managing to round the goalkeeper, keeping a cool head.

Pellistri was bright throughout and he certainly left a good impression on supporters.

At just 19 United do not have to rush him and he will benefit from a loan where he can play more regularly. But it does seem United may have signed a special talent.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Jesse Lingard

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website that Jesse Lingard would like to stay and fight for his place.

Lingard came agonisingly close to scoring a wondergoal when his curling long range strike came back off the underside of the bar.

The England international can be a useful contributor if United want to keep him, and it sounds like they might.

Solskjaer said he felt like United lacked a spark at the end of the season and Lingard’s loan at West Ham proved he has still got it.

Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Shola Shoretire

Arguably the biggest case for not utilising Lingard would be to fast-track Shola Shoretire into the team.

Shoretire provided the assist for Pellistri’s goal with a defence splitting pass.

The 17-year-old is an outstanding prospect and his contribution flew under the radar a little. It shouldn’t. His pass ended up deciding the game.

Another big year lies ahead for the teenager who struck 10 under-23 goals last season.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Dan is still wondering what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron...