Solskjaer on Van de Beek, Martial role changes in Manchester United win


Manchester United took control of its UEFA Champions League group on Tuesday with a new and old face each in new spots.

Anthony Martial played left wing while Donny van de Beek sat deep in the midfield during a 4-1 defeat of Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford.

Usually in a more advanced role, Van de Beek recorded two key passes and completed 88 percent of his passes.

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Martial’s done his best work at center forward, but played 82 minutes and completed all three of his dribbles at left wing with Edinson Cavani up top.

“The two are getting used to how we want them to play,” Solskjaer said via The Manchester Evening News. “Donny can play in different positions and Edinson is a good old-fashioned number nine and we haven’t had that for a while and I was happy with how Anthony played off the left.”

Van de Beek, 23, went 90 minutes for just the second time in his short United career, so the ex-Ajax star was likely just happy to get another chance to showcase his skill set.

He played 14 of his 175 Ajax senior matches in a defensive midfield role but is more often box-to-box or attacking.

“It was really good,” Van de Beek said after the win. “Some games I play No.10, sometimes the coach needs me in the control position, that’s fine for me, sometimes in Ajax I was also playing in that position so it’s okay.”

We just want to see more of the young midfielder, even if that means further exit signaling for Paul Pogba. Exciting United is good for the league, and a player with DVDB’s vision on the pitch is a good thing.

Follow @NicholasMendola