Manchester United returned to action in their first pre-season game against Leeds United, winning 2-0. Manager Erik ten Hag picked a strong team in the first half, giving a debut to £60m signing Mason Mount before making 11 changes in the second half. Both goals came in the second 45 minutes by Noam Emeran and Joe Hugill.
The hype for Mount’s debut was already created before he kicked a ball. Before the kick-off, ten Hag spoke about the former Chelsea man’s position and what he will bring to Manchester United.
“He wants to be multi-functional. He wants to be complete,’ said Ten Hag. ‘When you're playing in midfield, you have to attack, but you also have to defend.”
“I’m sure he will bring a dynamic into our game, and that was one of our analyses or conclusions we made after last season – we need more dynamic in the midfield department.”
Although the first half was goalless, the England International was the heartbeat of every United move. Although he played in a defensive pivot with Kobbie Mainoo, the midfielder was never afraid to bombard forward and link up with the attackers.
In the tenth minute of the game, we saw flashes of his quality when he pinged a long ball in a congested midfield into the feet of Amad Diallo on the right wing. It also resulted in Manchester United’s best chance in the first half.
The former Chelsea man created another great chance, dispossessing Jeremiah Mullen before placing a 40-yard chip just over the crossbar. This is likely to be his role in the Premier League for Manchester United. With his position in the pre-season friendly, Mount is expected to play between Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro in midfield.
Mount took all the set pieces for Manchester United in the first half, which is likely to be the case in the upcoming Premier League season. He will share the set-piece duty with Fernandes and Christian Eriksen.