On Sunday night, De Jong appeared – and scored the final goal – in Barcelona’s 6-0 Joan Gamper Cup by crushing Pumas Onam.
He came on as a substitute and returned to his usual midfield position after a large number of performances he played as a central defender.
One piece of play in particular impressed the fans, with De Jong showing himself above United’s current midfielders.
He received the ball from Jordi Alba and immediately came under pressure from Barcelona legend and former teammate Dani Alves.
But he turned his body beautifully to brilliantly bring Alves, 39, back to Seville. He then continued to drive through the midfielder, bypassing another opponent before playing a fine defensive pass that should have netted the hosts.
Earlier, Fred and McTominay were far below par as Eric ten Hag’s United lost 2-1 at home to Brighton in their first game of the season.
And if they aren’t already, United fans are well aware of the stark contrast in quality:
Fred gives a big chance at the point where he receives the ball, Mctominay loses the ball while dribbling it forward and Bruno hits the final ball…
– Tuchar (@Icarus07_) August 7, 2022
Fred can only spin in one direction and use one foot, while De Jong can dribble with his back to goal. Compare the intensity and intensity of that pressure with that applied in Brighton today. They are identical. The only difference is the quality pic.twitter.com/eOugXNRAz8
– EBL (@ebl2017) August 7, 2022
De Jong concluded the scoring in the 84th minute and added to the goals of Robert Lewandowski, Badri, Osman Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Meanwhile, United finished their debut of the new season with Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek in the midfield.
“McTominay was always trying to run with the ball, it’s ridiculous,” he said of Premier League products.
“The quality in midfield was really bad.
“I was glad he wasn’t fired [for a high challenge] But I think he was a little lucky. Again, he’s running around with the ball, it’s just so ridiculous. It could easily have been a red card. The quality in the midfield wasn’t good enough, but we’ve seen that in the past few years with these two guys.
“With Fred and McTominay, he [Ten Hag] You’ll only have to go with one of them but one of them will probably be too much.
“Fred gives the ball away all the time and McTominay tries to run the ball constantly and then gives it away. Pass it to your best players! It’s not that hard. He is a criminal on a day like today.”