Manchester United kicked off the tour by fielding 23 different players and beating Perth Glory 2-0. It was an excellent chance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to have a look at everyone – and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
These tours always excite me. Although the end result is pretty meaningless, it’s interesting to see how new signings and talented youngsters get on. Both Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka made an impression, as did a whole host of top talents who were already at the club.
Anyway, let’s get right into the five things we learned during this outing…
Daniel James has outrageous potential
I wasn’t sure what to expect aside from James’ rapid speed, but my this lad was impressive. Within a minute he’d already delivered two pretty good crosses into the box, while his work rate is great.
It’s a testament to putting himself on his own training regime before the season started while looking after his body. At £15million, this could be an absolute steal should James continue to develop and grow.
Manchester United play better with Paul Pogba
Like him or not, Paul Pogba makes Manchester United better. It’s the movement, the passing ability and the vision. We’re a better side with the Frenchman in it. He’s still our most talented player (on paper).
Sure, he hasn’t carried himself great over this summer, but I genuinely don’t think that anyone is going to pay the massive money being quoted to acquire his signature during this window. So he’s here to stay – which is a good thing for Solskjaer and this United team.
Nemanja Matic looks past it
It was a pre-season friendly so fitness levels will be low, but Nemanja Matic didn’t cover himself in glory. He turned like the Titanic, his passing was wayward and at times he was a mere bystander.
I’d argue that Scott McTominay is already a better player, while even the 18-year-old James Garner did more than our Serbian. Honestly, I’d also like to see Garner given the opportunity rather than the club going out and signing Sean Longstaff.
Pressing high up the field works
The proof is in the pudding. All the teams who work the hardest are at the top of the table. Solskjaer is trying to instil the high press at United, and it worked against Perth.
Sure, tougher tests are to come but you have to be impressed with the intensity United with. Again, James was at the forefront, while Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard both played well in this aspect.
We actually have a full-back who knows how to defend
Ah, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is an absolute gem, isn’t he? What’s not to love. This man carries himself like the consummate professional, and out on the field he’s sensational.
Wan-Bissaka attempted five tackles today. He won all of them (including a couple of excellent sliding challenges). I’ve only watched him for 45 minutes but he’s already my early contender for United’s Player of the Season…