'He's finally free' – Man Utd fans react to Michael Carrick's first-ever XI as Bruno Fernandes dropped for Van de Beek

MANCHESTER UNITED fans were left with their jaws on the floor after Michael Carrick named his first-ever starting XI – with Donny van de Beek IN.

The Dutch midfielder, 24, had long been left to warm the bench following his summer 2020 move under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian was sacked on Sunday morning following the 4-1 Premier League defeat at Watford.

Carrick was handed the reins on an interim basis, starting with Tuesday night's Champions League clash against Villarreal.

And the big story was Bruno Fernandes being DROPPED in favour of Van de Beek – who scored United's only goal at Vicarage Road just five minutes after coming off the bench.

Fans have been quick to back Van de Beek in recent months with his frustration at not being picked boiling over, to the point he threw his chewing gum near Solskjaer from the bench after being snubbed in the first game against Villarreal.

And United supporters have shared their messages of joy after seeing the Dutchman picked for Tuesday night's game.

One tweeted: "He's finally free!"


Another wrote: "VDB starting. No more Ole ball."

And dozens of others chipped in with posts like "DONNY" or "VAN DE BEEK STARTS" to show their excitement.

Van de Beek wasn't the only shock name on the teamsheet, either.

Jadon Sancho returned to the XI on the right of a front three, with Anthony Martial given the nod through the middle and Cristiano Ronaldo surprisingly shunted on the left wing.

Fred and Scott McTominay join Van de Beek in the middle of the park, with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in the heart of defence.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles took the full-back spots with David De Gea in goal.


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