DONNY VAN DE BEEK had the stage to show Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the world that he can cut it at Manchester United.
But he was ultimately upstaged by his midfield partner on the night as United progressed into the FA Cup fourth round by beating Watford 1-0.
Donny van de Beek failed to impose himself on the game[/caption]
Scott McTominay headed United ahead with just five minutes on the clock – and for the rest of the game he was the all-action heroic captain for the night.
Van de Beek was just… nothing special.
United legend Dimitar Berbatov said in the week that the Dutchman should be ‘banging on Solskjaer’s door’ as to why he isn’t playing more regularly.
The Bulgarian even hinted that the player could look for a move if he continues to be on the fringes.
So all eyes were on the 23-year-old as Watford came to Old Trafford for the third round tie.
McTominay himself has had his doubters, but he turned in a performance that belied his 24 years.
Not only did he end up the matchwinner, but he covered every blade of grass out there, often spotted outmuscling Watford attackers towards his own goal.
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Scott McTominay put in a man-of-the-match performance[/caption]
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Bruno Fernandes is the shoe-in, McTominay probably is too. And if he puts an end to constant transfer speculation, Paul Pogba should be the other to bag a midfield spot.
But even he will admit his big move has not panned out anywhere near how he had hoped.
Perhaps a blessing in disguise, Pogba’s name is rarely out of the headlines – no thanks to his controversial agent Mino Raiola constantly insisting his player will leave Old Trafford for a second time.
Van de Beek didn’t do enough to prove he deserves a regular starting spot[/caption]
Maybe Van de Beek needs that to happen for his own development and game time.
But at least the speculation over the Frenchman’s future keeps the critics off Van de Beek’s back – for now.
And while McTominay will see the armband fly back to Harry Maguire, at least he has what Van de Beek craves – a spot in central midfield.