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Man Utd’s four best players from Rayo Vallecano clash and five things we learned

Man Utd's 2022/23 Premier League Fixtures

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Manchester United continued their preparations for the new season with a 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano. Amad was on target for the Red Devils, with the La Liga side then responding through Alvaro Garcia Rivera. Express Sport will now analyse the contest, identify the four best players and explain five things we learned.

Man Utd’s four best players

Alejandro Garnacho was the best player on the pitch for United, with the 18-year-old stealing the spotlight on a day where Ronaldo returned to action.

He looks tailor-made for the Red Devils and, given his young age, his potential is genuinely scary.

Amad did well upon coming on for Ronaldo, with the United star scoring shortly after his introduction.

James Garner looked pretty slick throughout the showdown, though did pick up a yellow card – which was the only blotch on his record.

And Lisandro Martinez was calm and collected, with the centre-back making his first appearance for United following his arrival from Ajax earlier in the summer.

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Garnacho looks special

As mentioned above, Garnacho was extremely impressive throughout the game.

He was a menace on the left wing, with his speed and trickery causing Vallecano all sorts of problems on the day.

Garnacho is highly rated by United, especially after firing them to Youth Cup glory at the end of last season.

And if he can perform like this when given the chance, he’ll be a regular fixture in the first team in no time at all.

There’s even been talk of him potentially going to the World Cup in Qatar later in the year, with Lionel Messi one of his fans.

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Ronaldo looked rusty

Ronaldo was hooked after just 45 minutes and was nowhere to be seen after coming off.

And he certainly looked rusty.

Ronaldo could and should have opened the scoring early on, only to blaze an effort high over the bar.

He didn’t appear to be in sync with his team-mates and it’s clear he requires plenty of training in order to become match fit.

That is, if Ronaldo stays. He wants to leave for a team playing in the Champions League, so his future is very much uncertain.

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Van de Beek a curious case

Donny van de Beek is a curious case.

The Netherlands international is smart and tactically astute, with hopes high he can finally kick on after two underwhelming years in England.

But Van de Beek still doesn’t look right in a United shirt.

He’s not as explosive as he was at Ajax, where he’d roam the pitch and go from box to box.

And it’ll be fascinating to see whether United can get him fully firing, especially now Ten Hag is his manager.

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Chong, Laird need loans

Tahith Chong was given a rare start by United, with the Dutchman deployed on the right wing.

Yet it’s clear from this showing that he requires another loan, having had temporary stints at Werder Bremen and Birmingham last term.

Another player who needs to develop elsewhere over the next year is Ethan Laird.

He looks good at right-back but, with Diogo Dalot ahead of him in the pecking order, it would be in his best interests to head out on loan so he can genuinely challenge for a starting berth.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also above him in the right-back charts, though he could leave amid links to former club Crystal Palace.

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United don’t need a back-up goalkeeper

United have been eyeing a back-up goalkeeper for David De Gea since sending Dean Henderson out on loan.

But Tom Heaton did enough against Vallecano to show he’s capable of stepping up when required.

Though he couldn’t do anything about the La Liga side’s goal, Heaton did make a series of impressive saves throughout the game.

There’s been talk of a return for Sergio Romero.

But, in Heaton, United have a player already on their books who is more than up for the job.

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