Robin van Persie has heaped praise on Manchester United full-back and former teammate Tyrell Malacia, saying he gives other young Dutch players ‘hope’.
Malacia left Feyenoord to join United last summer in a deal worth around £13m – and in doing so became the first signing of the Erik ten Hag era.
The left-back has a good first campaign at Old Trafford, and though he remains behind Luke Shaw in the pecking order, he has always been superb when called upon.
His efforts have helped the club progress deep into the FA Cup and UEFA Europa League, as well as win the Carabao Cup, with United also on course to finish third in the Premier League.
His displays will not have surprised many back in the Netherlands, not least his former teammate and United icon Van Persie who made 17 appearances alongside Malacia while he was winding down his career at Feyenoord.
‘I do believe, per window, [you have] to get a couple of the right players in, and Tyrell Malacia is one of them,’ the legendary Dutch striker said.
‘He wasn’t really well known before he came. I played with him at Feyenoord, so I knew how good he was, and still is, and he is proving that every game.
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‘When it clicks and when it’s clear what to do, because clearly [there are] both full-backs – Diogo Dalot on the right side, you have Luke Shaw sometimes on the left, or Tyrell – you can see that they know exactly what to do in ball possession, as well when the opponent has the ball.
‘He’s doing that so well and I’m so proud of him. He’s from my city. He’s from my club. He’s giving a lot of youngsters hope.
‘He’s not only giving youngsters here hope, he’s giving youngsters in Holland hope, like okay, if you play well, there is a possibility that you can go really far, so that you end up playing for a team like Manchester United, and I’m just proud of him.
‘He is now playing on the highest level and competing against the best. I hope he keeps developing and improving and stays hungry to keep getting better every day.’