Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has praised the selfless skill and unique intelligence of Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, and even went further to describe him as the only player in the United squad that will sacrifice parts of his own game for the good of the team.
The Dutchman has struggled to make much of an impact since his £40m arrival from Ajax over the summer and has still not started a Premier League game, making just six appearances from the bench.
His chances have come more in the Champions League, making three starts, including on Tuesday night as we beat Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 at Old Trafford.
While analysing our victory over the Turkish side, Ferdinand pointed to Van de Beek’s selfless midfield play as the catalyst behind the success of his teammates.
“Yeah, I really, really was [impressed],” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “I think we’ve all been waiting to see him play, when you spend £40 million on a player you want him to make more than just little cameos here and there.
“Obviously we’ve been impatient with that but Ole’s had a reason for that and today he justified why he’s been brought to the club and why he’s thought of so highly in European football.
“It’s the intelligence, he’s the one player in this squad who’s happy playing one touch, who’s happy playing two-touch, who’s happy playing it simple.
“He’ll sacrifice parts of his game for other people to flourish, and that’s an important factor in any great team, you need players like that.
“And he’s one player who I feel will make other players tick and perform better.
“I think Bruno was the main person today who benefitted from him being in this team.”