De Gea shows up Man Utd pal Van de Beek on Instagram in cheeky training clip
Donny van de Beek returned to Manchester United for his first training session probably expecting a warm reception on his first day back after finishing his miserable loan spell at Everton.
But not everyone was so welcoming, with goalkeeper David de Gea in no mood to show him mercy after the goalkeeper showed off his cat-like reactions in training to deny his Red Devils colleague in a shooting drill.
The Spanish stalwart wasted no time in kicking off the banter between the two friends after posting a video clip from their training session on Instagram. Erik ten Hag’s side returned to the training pitch for pre-season on June 27 and Man United fans caught their first glimpse of the players in action on Wednesday.
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And with players such as Van de Beek returning from loan spells, it was their first chance to impress the Dutchman on the pitch, with the midfielder particularly keen to resurrect his career in Manchester. Unfortunately, he came up against De Gea in fine form.
The 32-year-old made sure the fans at home knew it too, posting a clip to his social media account of Van de Beek firing two shots at goal — both of which were stopped by the long-serving United star. And De Gea could not resist twisting the knife, captioning the video: "Not today!!!" followed by an emoji of a stop sign and a tag for the midfielder.
De Gea’s post was clearly made in jest and not spote, so perhaps the £35million signing from Ajax saw the funny side. But Van de Beek refused to take the bait, instead posting a standard image of himself in United’s training wear and going through Ten Hag’s intense fitness drills. ”Pre-season mode," he wrote, captioning the photo an 'on' emoji and a red circle.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Does Donny van de Beek have a future at Manchester United? Comment below.
Van de Beek is hoping to piece together his United career once more after falling out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. He made his name at Ajax under Ten Hag and earned his blockbuster move to Old Trafford back in September 2020 as a result, but things haven’t gone to plan for the 24-year-old since then.
After a miserable spell at Everton where he managed just five appearances for the Toffees, the Netherlands midfielder will be hoping for a fresh start in his third season at United. The fans will be behind him too, having chanted his name from the stands when he was banished by Solskjaer and has since earned a cult following at the club.
It remains to be seen what his role at United will be this season under Ten Hag, given Scott McTominay and Fred were the preferred central pairing last term.
The possible arrival of Frankie de Jong could also reduce Van de Beek’s role, although there is likely to be an extra space in midfield given Ten Hag’s preference for a 4-3-3 setup.
In a summer of change at United, De Gea is one of the rare constants at the back. The former Spain international will enter his 12th season as United player as their undisputed number one, having won the Players’ Player of the Year award for a record fourth time.
And after his fine double save in training, no one would dare question the validity of his prize.
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