Manchester United have a midfield to be reckoned with after adding Donny van de Beek to their ranks.
Holland international Van de Beek joined the Red Devils in a £40m deal last week, becoming the club’s first signing of the summer.
But he is set to face some heavy competition for a place in United’s midfield – undoubtedly the strongest part of their team currently.
Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba are the two stars of the show for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
So where can the Norwegian try to fit Van de Beek in, while keeping him happy and getting the best out of him?
The good thing for both Van de Beek and Solskjaer is that Van de Beek is versatile.
The 23-year-old can play in attacking or defensive midfield, while he has perhaps mostly been used at Ajax as a box-to-box centre-mid.
There’s no doubting he’d prefer to get forward than sit back, based on his previous comments.
"I'm a midfielder that likes to come in the box – making runs, goals, assists,” said Van de Beek.
“A lot of the time I cover a lot of distance in games, this is also a thing that is a strength for me, to get into the box of the opponent.”
Of course, Fernandes has nailed down the no. 10 role in United’s 4-2-3-1, so he won’t be playing in the attacking-midfield role any time soon.
But Solskjaer also plays two defensive-midfielders, most commonly Pogba, who likes to make marauding runs from deep, with Fred or Nemanja Matic.
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It’s likely that to continue with that system Pogba would need to sit back more to allow Van de Beek to get forward.
Or, Solskjaer could scrap that formation altogether, and put in a more midfield friendly narrow 4-4-2 diamond, allowing Van de Beek and Pogba to play as the wide centre-mids, Fernandes in the hole, and Matic or Fred sitting.
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