Soyan Amrabat was only on the pitch for 60 minutes but in that hour it became obvious why Erik ten Hag was so eager to sign him.
Not a lot has gone right for Manchester United so far this season. Even the wins have been uninspiring affairs in which they were fortunate to come away with three points and the less said about the defeats the better. But there was finally something to smile about on Tuesday.
It might have only been a win against an injury-ravaged Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup but you have to take the positives where you can find them. It was a dominant performance, an exciting display and one that has finally sparked a bit of optimism. It's nearly October, but it might just kick-start their season.
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There was plenty to be happy about. Alejandro Garnacho performing from the first minute, Mason Mount showing what he can do, Casemiro back to being Casemiro, Anthony Martial returning to the scoresheet and a solid defensive display. But best of all was the outing for Amrabat.
The Morrocan was signed as a much-needed defensive midfielder but made his start for the club at left-back before moving into midfield at half-time. It was a fine full debut and one that promises to solve to big problems United have had this season.
Though a left-back on paper, Amrabat played the inverted-full-back role that has been made popular by Manchester City in 2023, particularly by John Stones. It sees one of the defenders moving up into midfield when the team has possession to allow another midfielder to push higher and open more passing lanes.
United tried to implement it earlier in the season to disastrousRead on manchestereveningnews.co.uk