Tyrell Malacia’s game against Aston Villa shows incredible potential

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Having recently lost his starting position to Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malasia triumphantly returned during Manchester United’s 4-2 victory over Aston Villa.

The former Feyenoord defender was recalled for the English League Cup match and demonstrated a real game.

Malacia did well in his individual battles with John McGinn and then with Emiliano Buendia, two players well accustomed to the physical battles that are often characteristic of clashes between Premier League teams.

And unlike Luke Shaw on Sunday, he was rarely pulled out of position because of the wandering midfielders of Unai Emery.

His disciplined performance was combined with enthusiasm, which was supported by statistics, and Malasia boasted impressive figures.

He made five successful ball selections— more than any other player on the field—holding off opponents with aplomb.

Participating in an incredible 17 ground duels, Malasia demonstrated his determination to get stuck in and help his team in difficult situations.

The fact that he has won nine of these duels may indicate that he still needs to improve his fitness, but it also demonstrates his willingness to fight for every ball.

Eric ten Hag will certainly be pleased with Malasia’s possession game: the defender made a whopping 96 touches, constantly making himself available to his teammates.

Only Victor Lindelof could boast of the best accuracy of the pass, as Malasia found a red T-shirt with a 90% success rate.

And not because of a lack of ambition, the Dutchman distinguished himself with five accurate long passes and one successful cross, as well as two key passes.

Malasia’s positional intelligence, composure and aggression were on display at Old Trafford and it’s easy to see why Ten Hag made him his first signing this summer.

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