What did we learn from van de Beek’s first game?
Donny van de Beek made his first Manchester United appearance during Saturday’s friendly clash with Aston Villa.
Yes, there was a bit of rustiness to Donny’s game - that’s to be expected - but it was clear, even from this outing, that United have completed a shrewd bit of business by adding van de Beek to our squad.
In particular, a ball out to Daniel James around the half-hour mark indicated what Donny’s all about. The weight of pass and placement were perfect and only the assistant-referee’s flag denied the Wales international an opportunity to run at the Villa backline.
But it wasn’t all precision passes and neat interplay, we also saw one instance of the uglier side of the game - something all successful sides require.
When Villa’s main man Jack Grealish picked up the ball on 14 minutes and started venturing forward, the hosts could have been set to launch an attack. Donny put paid to that by giving away a foul that helped his team-mates out.
“He's done really well considering he's only trained with us for two days. The most important thing for him is getting to know the players and knowing how each other plays, so we've got the whole week, next week, to slot him in. So far, so good. He's a very nice guy so I'm sure he'll slot in really well.”Whether we’ll see Donny from the off when we take on Crystal Palace next weekend is another thing, given his lack of match fitness. But rest assured, over the course of the campaign Donny has a big role to play in this United team.