MANCHESTER UNITED fans were loving Ralf Rangnick after he bizarrely sent No3 goalkeeper Tom Heaton on for his debut against Young Boys.
The Red Devils manager made a string of changes with his side already confirming their progression into the Champions League knockout stages as group winners.
And as well as handing debuts to the likes of Robbie Savage’s son Charlie and Zidane Iqbal, Rangnick also ensured it was a special day for Heaton.
The 35-year-old goalkeeper spent eight years on the books at Old Trafford, coming through the youth ranks before six different loan spells away.
But he did not make a senior appearance before joining Cardiff in 2010 and then re-signed for the club this summer.
So with David De Gea rested and the pressure off and the scores level at 1-1, Rangnick replaced Dean Henderson with Heaton on 68 minutes.
And supporters on Twitter appreciated the classy gesture for Heaton’s 378th club appearance of his career – and first for his boyhood club.
One said: “Tom Heaton, wow I love Rangnick.”
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Another wrote: “Massive kudos to Ralf Rangnick today, for ‘promoting the youth’ by bringing on 35-year-old Tom Heaton instead of a youth prospect.”
A third added: “Rangnick giving Heaton a chance to play.”
And a final user commented: “Such a lovely gesture from Rangnick. Tom Heaton has been a wonderful servant for every single club he played for.
“To give him the chance to achieve his dream at the club he loves is class and absolutely brilliant.”
And thankfully for three-cap England international Heaton, he did not concede as it ended 1-1 in the final Champions League group game.
Mason Greenwood fired United in front early with a spectacular bicycle kick but Young Boys hit back through Fabian Rieder’s fine strike past Henderson.
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