Rio Ferdinand is amongst those leading the praise for Donny van de Beek, who looked excellent against Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday.
After being signed from Ajax over the summer, we’ve hardly seen Donny van de Beek given the opportunity to impress. In the Champions League on Tuesday, though, us fans would get what we’ve been waiting for; a rare start for the Dutchman.
From minute one, Van de Beek showed his class. Passing, moving, getting stuck in and generally making an impact. He made that midfield work.
It’s still surprising to me as to why it took Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so long to play the Dutchman. After all, Van de Beek has impressed on cameo appearances from off the bench and it’s only fair he finally got another chance to start a match.
He’d take that opportunity brilliantly, earning high plaudits from all quarters. Pundit Rio Ferdinand is amongst those heaping the praise on the United star, who he claims makes other players ‘tick’.
Check out what Rio Ferdinand had to say about Donny van de Beek here:
“We’ve all been waiting to see Van de Beek play, they spent £40m on him, you want to see more than cameos from him here and there. We’ve been impatient, but today he has justified why he has been brought to the club and why he is thought so highly of in European football.” Ferdinand said live on BT Sport, transcribed by Goal.
“He is the one player in the squad who is happy playing one-touch, two-touch, keeping it simple. He sacrifices parts of his game for other people to flourish, and in any great team you need players like that, who make other players tick. Bruno benefited today from having him in the team.”
In any team with major trophy aspirations, you need players like this. Van de Beek is an asset to this squad and as Rio says, he’ll sacrifice his stats in order to allow the team to perform better on the whole.
We saw that with Bruno Fernandes, as Van de Beek’s inclusion in the side meant that the Portuguese could do what he does best; get forward and create chances.
For me, Van de Beek is like Fred but with more on-ball quality. He’s just as versatile, probably tougher in the tackle and has a far better footballing-brain. Although it’s harsh to drop Fred, you have to say that having Van de Beek in the starting line-up makes us better.
Sure, there’s no reason why both can’t play together as they did on Tuesday night. In some games, though, Solskjaer will want that extra height or physicality that having a Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic in the team will bring.
Again, this is why you have a squad. United’s is looking rather deep, particularly in midfield right now, giving the manager options aplenty depending on different situations.
For Donny, this praise should only spur him on to perform even better.