Erik ten Hag ‘considers shaking up his under-fire Man United midfield’ ahead of crunch Liverpool clash… with outcast Donny van de Beek ‘working with Scott McTominay in training press exercise’
- Erik ten Hag looks set to switch midfield in Monday’s match against Liverpool
- Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay were seen together in training
- United were seen practicing pressing in a pack in Wednesday’s training sessions
- Several youths including James Garner and Charlie Savage also participated
Erik ten Hag could deploy a new midfield when he welcomes Liverpool to Old Trafford on Monday, with a potential rare start for Donny van de Beek.
During a pressing drill on Wednesday in training, the Dutch midfielder was seen working alongside Scott McTominay as United look to press their opponents with more weight than they did at Brentford.
Van de Beek has only played the full 90 minutes for United on three occasions in the Premier League despite scoring on his debut and for all their problems with midfield options he is yet to feature.
Donny van de Beek was seen working with Scott McTominay in training on Wednesday
Van de Beek has struggled with playing time, but can return to his best under Erik ten Hag
Although the Red Devils dominated possession 67% to 33%, they had just four shots on target and conceded four goals, suggesting they struggled to be as progressive on the ball as their opponents.
And this is clearly something the Dutch manager is looking to work on as his side have been seen chasing possession in droves in training.
Ten Hag’s former club, Ajax, often pushed the ball with intensity high up the pitch to great effect, so it would make sense for his new side to develop a similar tactic.
And as a product of de Godenzone’s famous academy, Van de Beek has played this way for much of his career, so a return to the side to showcase the former coach’s new ideas, especially in a side unaccustomed to pressing , would be a sensible move.
Christian Eriksen and Fred are likely to drop to the bench after particularly ineffective performances in west London to make way for McTominay and Van de Beek.
Van de Beek played 110 games and scored 32 goals, and assisted 29 more, under Ten Hag at Ajax
McTominay and Van de Beek came on in the 4-0 defeat but could start on Monday against Liverpool
Eriksen was deployed far higher up the pitch against Brighton, almost as a second striker, before being played in a much deeper midfield role at Brentford, and it’s clear that Ten Hag is not yet sure how to get the most out of his new man. .
And Van de Beek is not the only midfielder who could be in line for a start, with youngster James Garner also playing a role in training sessions, despite Ten Hag admitting he would consider selling the midfielder this summer.
The 21-year-old defensive midfielder had been expected to play a role under the Dutchman given how few midfield options they have and was impressive as he featured 44 times for Nottingham Forest en route to promotion last season.
Garner was joined by fellow academy products Ethan Galbraith, Matej Kovar and Charlie Savage on Wednesday as the Ten Hag perhaps looks to send a message to his senior stars that no place is secure in his side.