Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s tactics appear to be working for the time being as Manchester United registered a decent victory against Istanbul Basaksehir, this time going 4-1 at Old Trafford.
The Norwegian gaffer will be elated at the result given that the side shockingly defeated them in Turkey earlier this month and this win also means that they lead their Champions League group table with a 3 point buffer and a 7 goal lead.
With regard to specific personnel changes, Solskjær gave starts to new signings Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles, and Donny van de Beek while keeping Dean Henderson on the bench.
Of the lot, it was de Beek who played a different role in the game and one that was executed with great merit.
Fans were elated at Donny van de Beek’s efficiency alongside Fred in the midfield pivot. The Twitter reactions praised him and also lauded the Dutchman’s versatility.
Donny van de Beek is everywhere for Manchester United this evening. Passing tempo centrally (which frees up Fernandes), tackling, clearances, smart movement to limit space for the opponent. Absolutely fantastic first half.
— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) November 24, 2020
Cavani’s build up was superb. Martial looked a real threat again and Van De Beek wow, that’s exactly why he’s a MUST start even in a midfield two in most Premier League games – what a player. #mufc
— Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786) November 24, 2020
Donny van de Beek has played himself into the starting lineup going forward tonight. That was a performance that showed he can play deeper, pass through the lines of a team sitting deep, create chances and link up play all at the same time. A midfield masterclass.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) November 24, 2020
‘….and I know my time will come. – Donny 2 weeks ago.
Looks like his time has arrived. Deserves it so much. https://t.co/qzcNGryrM3
— (@TheEuropeanLad) November 24, 2020
Donny van de Beek’s game by numbers vs. İstanbul Başakşehir:
100% dribbles completed
88% pass accuracy
73 total touches
2 chances created
Absolutely quality. pic.twitter.com/lnCT4aD7Ju
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 24, 2020
De Beek’s passes were mostly clean and his impact a fairly fluid one. Further, his dribbling was completely perfect and the touches and chances he created added a lot of quality to the game.
Off late, there has been a lot of murmur about the role he will play at Old Trafford. A more attacking position has been given to him thus far by Solskjær and company and this is largely in keeping with his eye for goal and knack for creative ability.
However, alongside Fred, the 23-year-old was at much ease and contributed significantly to the chemistry with which the Red Devils operated at Old Trafford.
In fact, as many of the reaction suggested, Solskjær could do well with trying him out in this role more often and see what could come out of it.
This could be of particular merit given the uncertainty that hangs around the future and form of Paul Pogba.