Donny van de Beek made his first pre-season appearance for Manchester United against Brentford.

As promised by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Van de Beek started from a familiar position on the bench – due to a lack of fitness.

Van de Beek only rejoined the first team group for training on Monday, so he is being eased back into the team.

When he came for the final 15 minutes, captain for the night Nemanja Matic made very certain to hand Van de Beek the captain’s armband.

Manchester United v Brentford - Pre-season Friendly
(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Matic walked towards Van de Beek, gave him the armband with a smile, and patted him on the back. He clearly wanted him to enjoy himself.

It was a moment which also raised a smile among Manchester United supporters…

A player Manchester United fans want to succeed

Manchester United paid a big fee to sign Van de Beek last summer and did not see the best of him last year. He struggled to hold down a place in the team and also was impacted by injury late in the season.

 

United supporters want him to succeed. Van de Beek always carries himself well and never moans. He wants to kick on at Old Trafford and this is a big season for him.

That’s why Nemanja Matic’s gesture was an important one. It shows the faith his players have in him, and if it was an instruction from Solskjaer, even better.

United want Van de Beek to step up as an important player, and part of that is about restoring his confidence which was no doubt dented a little last season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told MUTV after that game that Van de Beek is likely to start Saturday’s friendly against Preston. From there he will be able to stake a claim to try and get into the starting line up when the Premier League season begins.

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