Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised Donny van de Beek’s performance for Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round win over Watford.
The Netherlands international has had a slow start to life at Old Trafford since his summer move from Ajax, starting just twice in the Premier League and being an unused substitute in their last three outings.
But he was handed a rare start against Watford in the 1-0 victory and gave an excellent display, creating chances and dominating the ball with his 74 passes the second-most of any player on the pitch.
United fans have been eager to see Van de Beek come into the team and Solskjaer suggested the 23-year-old may have given him a selection dilemma with his strong performance.
Asked if he took his opportunity, Solskjaer replied: ‘I think Donny showed again his qualities.
‘He plays, he’s very technically clean, makes good decisions – what a little flick with the back-heel to play Juan [Mata] through in the first half!
‘He’s got that quality to open up tight games, so definitely he’ll benefit from this game as well.’
Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams were also praised by Solskjaer, with the United boss feeling a number of players benefitted from the game time despite a somewhat lethargic performance after the first 20 minutes.
Asked about Greenwood’s position, Solskjaer said: ‘We had a front four with Dan [James], Juan, Jesse [Lingard] and Mason in front of them, with the license to chop and change a little bit, find positions.
‘Mason is naturally a floaty forward anyway. Sometimes when you’re young, staying through the middle is a challenge.
‘He wanted to get a touch on the ball and he got wide, and I felt he benefitted from this game.’
On Williams he added: ‘Brandon did well, I thought he had a very good game. Of course he’s not played for a while, he was playing on the right-hand side.
‘We want him to go be an attacking full-back and it might be easier for him on the right side. So very pleased with Brandon. One of the positives.’
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