Manchester United fringe duo both start in behind-closed-doors friendly

Donny van de Beek of Manchester United (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Donny van de Beek of Manchester United (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /

With the international break halting Premier League action, Manchester United ensured their remaining players stayed fit in a behind-closed-doors friendly vs Barnsley.

Erik ten Hag is doing everything within his power to kickstart his team’s season again. After a poor start to the season, the Dutch manager is under fire and with a lot of scrutiny surrounding him, he must watch his every step if he is to remain the coach at Old Trafford for the long-term.

Manchester United certainly haven’t been lucky with off-field issues this season. There is the obvious fall-out between Jadon Sancho and ten Hag but there was also the legal case of Antony.

Since then, the Brazil international has returned to the bench for Manchester United, strongly denying the accusations made against him. He has been a used sub in two matches since, but is yet to start a match for the Red Devils after his hiatus.

Manchester United fringe duo start in behind-closed-doors friendly

According to a report from Manchester Evening News, both Antony and Donny van de Beek started the friendly against Barnsley, in a game in which United came out comfortable winners (3-0).

Antony is looking to build up his match fitness ahead of a potential return to the starting eleven after the international break. Whereas Donny van de Beek doesn’t look to start for the first team anytime soon, as he’s outcasted after failing to secure a summer move away from Old Trafford.

Organising behind-closed-doors friendlies is a common protocol during such breaks. They can be helpful for the players who don’t feature for their international teams, while also providing some invaluable experience to lower league teams. Certainly, Antony will benefit from the fitness boost.

In other news, read the latest on Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s contract talks.

Do you think Antony will start for Manchester United after the international break?