Rio Ferdinand highlights unique quality Donny van de Beek brings to Man United

Rio Ferdinand says Donny van de Beek can do one thing that no-one else in the Manchester United squad can do

Rio Ferdinand
Ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand (Photo: BT Sport)

Rio Ferdinand says Donny van de Beek’s willingness to sacrifice his strengths for the betterment of the Manchester United team means the summer signing has a “unique intelligence”.

The Netherlands international has endured a tough start to his Manchester United career after the Red Devils signed Van de Beek in a £40m deal from Eredivisie outfit Ajax.

The 23-year-old hasn’t made a start in the Premier League this season and has been limited to six substitute appearances in the top flight despite scoring against Crystal Palace on his debut.

Van de Beek made his third start of the Champions League season in Manchester United’s 4-1 victory over Turkish outfit Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Although the summer signing didn’t get on the score-sheet or create a goal, former Manchester United defender Ferdinand was impressed with Van de Beek’s contribution.

“Yeah, I really, really was [impressed],” Ferdinand told BT Sport when asked about Van de Beek.

“I think we’ve all been waiting to see him play, when you spend £40m on a player you want him to make more than just little cameos here and there.

“Obviously we’ve been impatient with that but Ole’s had a reason for that and today he justified why he’s been brought to the club and why he’s thought of so highly in European football.

“It’s the intelligence, he’s the one player in this squad who’s happy playing one touch, who’s happy playing two-touch, who’s happy playing it simple.

“He’ll sacrifice parts of his game for other people to flourish, and that’s an important factor in any great team, you need players like that.

“And he’s one player who I feel will make other players tick and perform better.

“I think Bruno was the main person today who benefitted from him being in this team.”

Bruno Fernandes scored twice in the first half and Marcus Rashford netted from the spot ahead of half-time before Daniel James netted a goal on the stroke of full-time.

Van de Beek has scored two goals in five starts and seven substitute appearances.

Manchester United will make the trip to Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon before Paris Saint-Germain travel to Old Trafford in the Champions League next Wednesday.

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