Donny van de Beek’s greatest place is simply behind the striker, in response to Erik ten Hag.
Talking forward of Manchester United’s recreation towards Melbourne Victory (through ManUtd.com), the brand new boss mentioned of his compatriot, “his greatest place is his capabilities within the field of the opponent, so taking part in brief behind the striker.”
So what may a United facet that goals to get the most effective of the quantity 34 appear like?
The very first thing to grasp is simply how otherwise Van de Beek interprets the attacking midfield place to Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese has proven talismanic capabilities in a quantity ten position along with his creativity and direct passing.
He’s a chance-creation freak, typically having no actual need to dictate play and preferring to pressure the difficulty with defence-splitting passes and pictures on objective.
Whereas that may at instances be irritating, the sheer quantity with which Fernandes feeds attackers is properly well worth the trade-off, all else being equal.
Van de Beek, in the meantime, has a fairly restricted passing vary. In possession he’s a protected pair of palms and can probably rack up a greater ball retention share, however that comes on the expense of creativity.
Donny simply isn’t a artistic passer – he’s a possession recycler at greatest on this division.
The place he does shine, is definitely in receiving the ball in good areas.
“He has a extremely good scent for being in the appropriate place,” mentioned Ten Hag, who would definitely know a factor or two about getting probably the most of Van de Beek having labored so productively with him at Ajax.
And talking of Ajax, whereas Donny nominally performed a quantity ten position, he was definitely not within the workforce for his artistic passing capacity.
He was a “runner,” with Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech functioning because the facet’s main “creators.”
Certainly, a glance by way of Van de Beek’s objective compilations at Ajax will present simply how a lot the Dutchman benefitted from taking part in with a “loss of life or glory” model of passer – Ziyech and Van de Beek ought to in all probability not have been offered individually, such was the worth of their understanding on the pitch.
So to get the most effective of Van de Beek, he shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for Bruno Fernandes, however as somebody who would thrive in a set-up with him – Van de Beek wants a Hollywood passer, simply as a lot because the passer would profit from a top-class receiver.
An answer may very well be to line up in a 4-2-3-1 with the Dutchman in his favoured place behind the striker and provides Fernandes the identical type of position afforded to Ziyech by Ajax within the Champions League semi-final facet – off the flank of his weaker foot.
That can permit for harmful angled passes into Donny and the striker, and with Jadon Sancho trying probably begin on the appropriate this season, United will have the ability to stretch groups on that facet, creating extra space within the center for central gamers to get on the tip of Bruno’s passes.
What’s essential is to grasp is that when Bruno performs within the gap, he have to be surrounded with runners. For Donny it’s the other: he have to be surrounded with creators.
Due to this fact the upcoming announcement of Christian Eriksen – one other artistic passer – can be a profit to the Netherlands worldwide relatively than a menace on this set-up, because it means extra gamers capable of finding his intelligent off-ball runs.
With Rashford within the facet, Bruno merely returns to quantity ten, and all the pieces appears fairly normal once more – however the hot button is to rotate the 2 runners, relatively than change creators with them as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer typically did.
That may put Van de Beek in direct competitors with Rashford for a place, so even when that is the plan, he in all probability received’t be taking part in each recreation.
However it can definitely enhance his probabilities of being efficient when referred to as upon and getting the possibility to indicate why Manchester United paid £35m to safe his providers.