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    How Donny van de Beek, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes can start together for Manchester United and cause chaos in the Premier League

    As Manchester United drew 0-0 with Chelsea on a wet Saturday evening, one man was left sat in the stands.

    Donny Van de Beek, the Red Devils’ £35million summer signing, must have wondered how he wasn’t on the pitch.

    Van de Beek watched on in the stands as United failed to create clear chances

    Already football legends are sticking their oars in about the situation.

    “Donny should not have gone to Manchester United,” Netherlands hero Marco Van Basten told Rondo.

    “When you are a good player you want to play every week.

    “It is really bad for a player like Donny to play only six or seven games this year. That is shocking for your match rhythm.

    “I know he is earning loads and loads more than he used to. But as a top player you have to be critical and look at the chances of playing when you sign for a new club.

    “Donny should have waited for better prospects and signed for another club.”

    Paul Parker sympathises with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mason Greenwood – says there’s a witch hunt against Manchester United

    Against Chelsea, desperate for creativity in the final third, United opted for Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, and Paul Pogba off the bench ahead of Van de Beek.

    Cavani never made more than six assists in a season for Paris Saint-Germain, Greenwood only has two in his young career, while Pogba only managed three last season.

    You can partially understand what manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was doing, shuffling his pack and getting creator-in-chief Bruno Fernandes further forward with more attacking stars around him.

    And they did create six chances to Chelsea’s two, but when you consider all these combined were worth 0.41 expected goals, they were not clear cut chances.

    Getty Images – Getty

    Cavani made his debut, but could not find a goal

    One man who knows how to create chances, just happens to be Van de Beek, and he can do it in many ways.

    Lee Scott from Total Football Analysis told talkSPORT, prior to the Dutchman’s signing, just what he could do for the Red Devils.

    He said: “In essence, Manchester United have secured the signing of a midfield player who has the capacity to create chaos in the final third.

    “The intelligent movement and delayed runs that Van de Beek makes into attacking positions should combine really well with the progressive passing of Bruno Fernandes.

    “His work rate also offers an interesting option for United this term. His ability to read the opposition and quickly press the moment of transition makes him a dangerous player to the opposition, even when they have the ball.”

    Van de Beek is an intelligent and creative footballer who can get United firing in the final third

    Getty Images – Getty

    Van de Beek is an intelligent and creative footballer who can get United firing in the final third

    Fernandes is, quite simply, a fantastic shot creator. This season he has been involved in either the final ball or the penultimate action before a strike on goal 5.78 times per 90 minutes.

    He’s the fourth best in the Premier League, behind only Kevin De Bruyne (8.6), Sadio Mane (5.95), and Mohamed Salah (5.83).

    The Portugal ace has played 40 passes into the final third, the sixth most in the division, and the only players to put the ball into the penalty area more than his 15 times are Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold (16) and Salah (18).
    Fernandes does have two assists to his name, but statistics suggest even this is over performance with StatsBomb data on FBref.com putting his expected assists at 1.1 in his five appearances.
    He’s creating plenty, but the chances just aren’t that good when it comes to quality.

    Fernandes creates a lot fo Man United but his team-mates aren’t taking advantage right now

    Getty Images

    Fernandes creates a lot fo Man United but his team-mates aren’t taking advantage right now

    Having Van de Beek in the team with him could really up the ante for United and not stifle their star midfielder, as some may believe.

    In his tiny cameos for United already this season, he helped create Fernandes’ goal against Newcastle, he grabbed an assist with a deft flick for Juan Mata against Brighton, while his sole goal came from a kind ricochet against Crystal Palace having made a smart run.

    His movement and one-touch passing has already caused havoc in English football, but Solskjaer doesn’t yet seem to trust him.

    In these matches he’s also displayed a willingness to get onto the ball and hasn’t shirked a challenge yet, he can deal with the rough and tumble.

    Van de Beek, thanks to his movement into the penalty area, can create goals even with his back to goal.

    If the Red Devils can harness this, the prospect of him linking up with Cavani in the penalty area is a tad frightening.

    Of course, many will rightly suggest Van de Beek needs to get to full fitness first, especially with the fact the Eredivisie was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic but by now he should be well up to speed.

    And a midfield diamond, which United used towards the end of their 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, could be the perfect way to make it all happen.

    Van de Beek has not started a Premier League game for Man United

    Getty Images – Getty

    Van de Beek has not started a Premier League game for Man United

    How Manchester United could look

    In those final minutes against PSG, we had Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as the two forwards, Fernandes at No.10, with Pogba as the left No.8 and Fred as the right No.8, and Scott McTominay in holding midfield.

    Using this formation again allows the full-backs, which in time will be Alex Telles on the left, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right, to move into high positions and create a five-man forward line, with the No.8s and occasionally the No.10, dropping to recycle the ball.

    Fred is, obviously, not as attacking as Van de Beek but the Dutchman does defend, as his heatmap in his final Ajax season, below, shows.

    Along with him averaging two tackles and 0.7 interceptions per game in Netherlands last campaign.

    Wyscout

    When the two full-backs occupy forward positions, McTominay can split the two centre-backs and form a back-three to offer protection across the pitch.

    Wan-Bissaka, though, is always likely to be further back given his excellent defensive ability and Telles’ superb attacking play and United’s natural favouring of the left flank to attack.

    But placing Van de Beek into the side on the right of a diamond could go some way to levelling out that bias and making the Red Devils less predictable given they go down the left on 44 per cent of their attacks.

    Source: Read Full Article

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