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Young, versatile and attack-minded: they're Sir Alex's favourite traits and Ritchie De Laet possesses them all.

2009/10 appearances: Premier League 2, League Cup 1(2). Total: 3(2).

Season soundbite: "Ritchie has been a revelation since signing from Stoke and he deservedly gained some first-team appearances [last] term. He is a very versatile defender who also has an eye for a goal, and he's a real leader in the team."
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

In a word: Promising
10/06/2010 08:09
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Player review: De Laet

Story of the season: The Belgian proved a reliable squad member last term, playing in three different positions across the back four. His biggest contribution to the first-team came in December, with United’s defence decimated by injuries. Unfortunately, a cruel twist of fate prevented him from taking his talents to the European stage, as UEFA regulations prohibited him being drafted in for the trip to Wolfsburg. He was a regular for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reserves, though, where consistent performances at the heart of the defence earned him the Denzil Haroun Player of the Year award.

Finest moment: The pre-Christmas injury crisis gave De Laet a chance to shine. He started at left-back for the 2-0 win over Tottenham, then right-back for the 3-0 victory against Wolves. Against Mick McCarthy’s men he enjoyed plenty of action, pacifying winger George Friend while constantly providing a threat going forward. His toughest test came in the 3-0 loss at Fulham as part of a back three containing Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher. He gave a brave account of himself in trying circumstances but like most Reds that day struggled to leave his mark on the match.

Greatest attribute: Devastatingly quick, De Laet is rarely outpaced. What's more, he loves to break forward and is

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