Handed a rare start in the third round FA Cup outing, the Dutchman put in a noteworthy performance in the middle of the park.
Donny van de Beek has the “quality to open up tight games”, remarked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the midfielder’s strong display in Manchester United’s 1-0 over Watford.
Scott Mctominay opened the scoring just five minutes into the game, and it proved enough for United to progress into the FA Cup fourth round.
Pairing Mctominay in central midfield was Van de Beek, one of the several fringe players drafted in the starting XI.
The Dutchman put in a strong shift in a holding role. He was involved in a brilliant passage of play with Juan Mata, dragging a Mason Greenwood pass back behind him and playing his Spanish teammate through on goal, and would have had an assist had Mata put on his shooting boots.
“I think Donny showed again his qualities,” said Solskajer after the match, as Goal reports. “He is very technically clean, makes good decisions.
“What a little flick to play Juan through in the first half. He has that quality to open up tight games so definitely he will benefit from this game as well.”