Donny van de Beek is currently Manchester United’s only first team signing heading into the season kick-off.
Perhaps that will change heading into Saturday’s game, but where Van de Beek is concerned, he is primed and ready to go.
Van de Beek is fresh after the Dutch league was cancelled in March and did not resume.
He then spent August playing in friendly matches with Ajax, and featured for United against Villa for part of the match at the weekend.
Questions over the availability of United’s midfield gives Van de Beek an optimistic chance of starting the opener.
Pogba battling to be fit
Paul Pogba is back in training after getting a positive coronavirus test which prevented him going on international duty. But it has cost him time.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website: “Paul’s had a couple of training sessions so he’s lost out on a few sessions because of the virus, of course. But Paul is quick to get fit.
“Of course, he worked really hard to get back after lockdown last time and played the majority of the games. Hopefully, he’ll be ready for next weekend. I am not 100 per cent sure though.”
It sounds promising, but United do not have to start Pogba. Van de Beek gives Solskjaer an extra option in the position, and if fitness tests show he is in far better condition than the Frenchman, then why rush him back?
Bruno Fernandes also sat out Saturday’s friendly after playing twice on international duty.
Fernandes is a key part of the team and should slot straight in, but Van de Beek again gives Solskjaer the option not to rush him if the number 18 is not 100 per cent.
This depth was lacking from United’s squad last season, and Van de Beek gives United a valuable new option which was not present before.
He impressed in the friendly against Aston Villa at the weekend, playing all 90 minutes and proving his fitness.
It is certain Van de Beek will play some role, from the bench at least, but he has a chance to start.
Getting the nod at Old Trafford on the opening day of United’s season would be a great way for Van de Beek to begin his Red Devils’ career.
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