Referee Mike Dean appeared to make his Premier League debut for Southampton in Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
Dean almost marked the occasion with an assist early in the first half when he set up Manolo Gabbiadini with an inventive penalty award, but his Italian teammate-for-the-day failed to convert from 12 yards.
Forty-eight-year-old Dean recently showed off his CR7-esque free-kick stance during Arsenal’s 4-1 win at Stoke.
Mike Dean about to recreate Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick vs Portsmouth. ?? pic.twitter.com/86ipd8il1H
— Premier League (@EPLBible) May 13, 2017
However, Dean wasn’t given the honour of being on set-piece duty, with James Ward-Prowse refusing to share his role with the ref.
Nevertheless, Dean did make a strong attacking impression with this overlapping run from left wing-back, which one assumes must be his position when the Prem Refs play Sunday League.
Mike Dean = closet wingbackpic.twitter.com/A7JS6BUbQK
— Robert Summerscales (@robsummerscales) May 17, 2017
Just imagine an XI of Premier League refs for a moment…
I reckon Roger East is a secret baller, while Mark Clattenburg would almost certainly hog the no.7 shirt, with Michael Oliver bossing it in the centre of the park as a box-to-box midfielder.