RIO FERDINAND believes Manchester United will play Paul Pogba out of position to accommodate Donny van de Beek.
The Dutch midfielder, 23, arrived from Ajax in a £39million transfer this summer.
Donny van de Beek could force his way into the Manchester United starting XI with Paul Pogba pushed back[/caption]
And his addition means added competition for places in the middle of the United team.
Van de Beek, Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred are all batting to support Bruno Fernandes.
Ideally Matic or McTominay would offer the defensive cover to allow the likes of Fernandes, Pogba or Van de Beek to push forward and create.
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But former United defender Ferdinand reckons Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will find a way to fit Fernandes, Pogba and Van de Beek into the same team – but the World Cup winner may not be best pleased.
Ferdinand told BBC Radio 5Live: “Listen, if you say you’re going to play your best players in that midfield and you’re going to play three, then you’d say Paul Pogba playing in the holding role and [Bruno] Fernandes and Van de Beek being the guys that are playing around that, a bit more free and able to move around and create.
“Is that Paul Pogba’s best position? I would argue not.
“But you have to look at what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to do.
“Does he want his best players on the pitch or is he talking about players fitting in a system?
Pogba may have to play in a slightly deeper role to help fit Van de Beek into the side as well[/caption]
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“I think that’s the intriguing part for me going into the season from Manchester United’s perspective in terms of the signing that they made, that player.
“Is he just going to be named as one of the best players in the team and he’s going to play, or are we going to say we want the system for the players to fit into.
“It’s a big call and that remains to be seen, but I still think Manchester United will have some sort of movement and there will be additions in this squad going into the season.”
Van de Beek had his first run-out in a Red Devils shirt on Saturday as United slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa in their final pre-season game.
Donny was maybe the biggest plus outfield. I was very happy with his performance.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
He started in midfield alongside McTominay with Pogba, Fernandes, Fred and Matic all out.
But the Dutchman was the standout performer and impressed Solskjaer with his 90-minute debut.
The Norwegian said: “Donny was maybe the biggest plus outfield.
“He’s such a finder of space and creates time for himself with his timing and movement. I was very happy with his performance.”
United host Crystal Palace next Saturday evening as they look to begin their campaign with a win.