Former Manchester United ace Luke Chadwick was impressed with Donny van de Beek’s ‘busy’ performance in the defeat to Arsenal and expects the star to start against Istanbul Basaksehir.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Chadwick hailed the Dutchman’s ‘good’ movement, particularly Van de Beek’s ability to exploit the ‘half-spaces’.
Van de Beek replaced Fernandes in the 75th minute of the clash against the Gunners, with the roaming playmaker finding ‘space’ in between Arsenal’s deep defensive line and midfield.
Chadwick, who made 39 first-team appearances after coming through the ranks at United at the start of the century, added that he’d be ‘very surprised’ if Van de Beek doesn’t start against Istanbul.
Chadwick added that Van de Beek was ‘good’ in his first real important start for the club in the 5-0 win against RB Leipzig, but was understandably overshadowed by the impact of super-subs Bruno Fernandes and hat-trick hero Marcus Rashford.
The Netherlands international came the closest to sparking an equaliser in the defeat to Arsenal, with a drilled cross being turned onto the post in the 84th minute.
Here’s what Chadwick had to say after Van de Beek’s bright display off of the bench:
“He looked busy when he came on, showing good movement as ever to find half-spaces between Arsenal’s defence and midfield. This space was limited as Arsenal dropped deeper to protect their lead.”
“This came after a good performance against Leipzig in the week but was maybe a little over shadowed by the impact the subs (Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes especially) made coming on!”
“I think that’s where the situation is tricky of how you fit him and Bruno in the same team unless one of them is sacrificed in a wider position, much how Paul Pogba was in the second half today.”
“I’d be very surprised if he didn’t start on Wednesday after the result in the last Champions League fixture.”
“In Ole’s mind he didn’t do quite enough to hold on to his place for today (vs Arsenal), so he will be desperate to put in an even better performance to get a much delayed start in the Premier League.”
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side winning their first two Champions League ties, it’s perhaps time for the Norwegian to field a heavily rotated side vs Istanbul and rest his usual starters for the clash vs Everton.
Van de Beek was signed for an initial fee of £35m from Ajax this summer, with the deal also including a further £5m in potential add-ons, as per BBC Sport.
The 23-year-old’s struggled for playing time so far though, before the Leipzig tie the midfielder’s only two starts for the club came in the respectfully unimportant Carabao Cup ties.
It’s clear that Van de Beek boasts quality, but due to United’s shortcomings in defence, he will find it difficult to break into the starting lineup alongside the likes of Fernandes and Paul Pogba.