Rio Ferdinand believes Donny van de Beek is the only Manchester United player that will sacrifice parts of his own game for the good of the team.
The midfielder has struggled to make much impact since his arrival from Ajax in the summer and is still yet to start a Premier League game, making just six appearances from the bench.
But, he has been given more chances in the Champions League, starting three matches, including on Tuesday night as United beat Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 at Old Trafford.
A brace from Bruno Fernandes and one each from Marcus Rashford and Daniel James proved the difference for the club, but Ferdinand felt Van de Beek’s selfless midfield play helped the team.
Ferdinand sees Van de Beek becoming a key part of the first team as he brings a selfless aspect of play that his United teammates do not.
‘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.’