Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to single Donny van de Beek out for special praise, on the back of the Dutchman’s first outing in the club’s colours this weekend.
All-action midfielder van de Beek of course represents the sole major arrival at Old Trafford to this point in the summer.
Despite links to some of Europe’s premier players (primarily Jadon Sancho), the Red Devils have largely flattered to deceive on the transfer front, ahead of getting their 2020/21 campaign underway next weekend.
As such, it no doubt came as a welcome surprise when, almost out of the blue, speculation began to ramp up last week that United were on the verge of closing a deal for Ajax star van de Beek.
The 23-year-old, fresh off the back of another superb campaign at The Johan Cruyff Arena, was evidently identified as the missing piece in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s swiftly-improving midfield puzzle.
Ed Woodward and co. therefore wasted little time in pushing a transfer over the line, with van de Beek’s move to Manchester having been made official last Wednesday:
🔴 VAN 🔴
⚪️ DE ⚪️
⚫️ BEEK ⚫️
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 2, 2020
As outlined above, meanwhile, it certainly hasn’t taken the newest arrival at Old Trafford long to make an impression on his new boss.
Manchester United took to the pitch for the club’s final pre-season outing on Saturday, ahead of getting their Premier League campaign underway next weekend.
The Reds visited Villa Park, for a behind-closed-doors meeting with Aston Villa.
Van de Beek was handed a starting berth by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, alongside Scott McTominay in the middle of the park.
And, though his side went on to fall to a 1-0 defeat, Solskjaer was nevertheless full of praise for the latest addition to his squad following the full-time whistle.
Speaking in a post-match interview with MUTV, the United boss labelled van de Beek ‘the biggest plus’ versus Villa, before highlighting the Dutchman’s impressive ‘timing and movement’:
‘Donny was maybe the biggest plus outfield. He’s such a finder of space and creates time for himself with his timing and movement. I was very happy with his performance.’
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) September 13, 2020
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