Sofyan Amrabat, Manchester United’s new signing, demonstrated precisely why Erik ten Hag brought him to Old Trafford during Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup third-round match against Crystal Palace.
The 27-year-old Moroccan midfielder, who joined United from Fiorentina this summer on a season-long loan with an option to buy, delivered a very impressive performance in his full debut.
After making his Premier League debut as a substitute against Burnley over the weekend, he started Tuesday’s game at left-back, despite being primarily recognized for his qualities as a defensive midfielder.
However, this positional change didn’t faze Amrabat, who boasted a remarkable 96% pass accuracy during his 61-minute appearance, completing 83 out of 87 passes attempted.
He also won five out of six duels, a statistic that is likely to please United fans, especially considering the team’s less-than-convincing start to the season, particularly in midfield areas.
— Man United Media (@ManUnitedMedia) September 26, 2023
Here’s how social media reacted to Amrabat’s display on Tuesday night.
One fan said: “Scott McTominay has completed 49 passes in 203 minutes for Manchester United this season. Sofyan Amrabat completed 65 passes in the first half vs Palace. Having a midfielder who actually wants the ball in an Erik ten Hag team is going to significantly improve that team.”
A second wrote: “Amrabat scanning before every touch, turning on the ball, and running into vacant space. He’s doing the literal basics and it’s going to change my life,” while a third commented: “So obvious how important Amrabat is going to be at Manchester United. Already looks the part.”
A fourth said: “Sofyan Amrabat, as far as first starts go, they don’t get much cooler and smoother than that. Retention, tenacity, energy and composure,” and a fifth added: “Amrabat looks like he would quite literally run through a brick wall if ten Hag asked him to.”
Sofyan Amrabat, as far as first starts go, they don’t get much cooler and smoother than that.
Retention, tenacity, energy and composure.
Moroccan Lock 🔒 pic.twitter.com/nXZKeps8Gc
— h (@htomufc) September 26, 2023
Ahead of kick-off, Erik ten Hag explained why he decided to play Amrabat at left-back.
“He has played full-back. Normally he plays in midfield, but he can do it,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports. “He will play where the manager needs him. He’s a warrior, he will do the job. That’s who Sofyan is.
“It’s his (full) debut so I’m really looking forward to it and he is really looking forward to it. He wants to play and give everything in the match.”