Donny Van De Beek was Manchester United’s first summer signing this year. The Reds paid Ajax a transfer fee of around £40 million to get Dutchman’s signature. But since the start of the season, he has failed to get the minutes under his belt. In fact, he has played only 762 minutes in 20 appearances in all the competitions.
Former Manchester United striker, Dimitar Berbatov, recently stated that he won’t be much surprised if Van De Beek heads for the exit door after just 6 months.
“He needs a run of games in a row to give him confidence. I can see that his confidence isn’t high at the moment, and that’s normal because when you don’t play you start punishing yourself and ask questions of yourself. I don’t know what is going on with Donny van de Beek – I said before he signed that I like him as a player, he was great for Ajax and his national team, but now he can’t get a game at United,” – Dimitar Berbatov.
Van De Beek has not featured in the previous four Premier League games. He has started only 2 of the possible 16 Premier League games. This tells that the manager has no plans in mind to incorporate the new signing in the first XI. He came off the bench against Manchester City at the 88th minute in Carabao Cup’s semifinal when the team was already two goals down. All-in-all, the situation for the young midfielder is not very good.
Why it has not worked out for Donny Van De Beek?
The former Ajax player is a versatile midfielder who can play as both number 10 and as a central midfielder. Currently, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a number of options already in those positions. Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay all are ahead of Van De Beek.
The formation in which Man United generally plays includes two holding midfielders and a number 10. Bruno Fernandes is indispensable from the attacking midfielder spot. And, Van De Beek won’t be starting many games ahead of Paul Pogba.
One position in which Manchester United still needs a lot of improvement is the holding midfielder spot. But, Donny Van De Beek is not a holding midfielder. He can be deployed at that spot but he won’t give the solidarity which is provided by other CDM’s like Kante and Declan Rice.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tried to play him in the left-wing role but that is not his position. He cannot contribute much from the wide areas. The Dutchman does not offer pace which Dan James or Marcus Rashford offers from that spot.
Fred has become an integral part of this United team under Solskjaer. His partnership with Scott McTominay in the middle of the park grants security to the team. That is why we have seen Solskjaer starting those two, along with Bruno Fernandes, in the middle. Even Paul Pogba has to settle for a spot on the bench many times. All these factors have played a role in keeping the former Ajax midfielder out of the team.
Should Man United let him leave?
One thing is very clear. Donny Van De Beek is too good a player to warm the United’s bench. Since his arrival, many pundits and fans have raised their concerns that where would he play in the team. Even Solskjaer doesn’t have an answer to that.
Europa League will start from next month. February and March will also be crunch time in the Premier League for the Reds. Ole might wish to rest many first-team players for a few Europa League fixtures at that time. During those games, Van De Beek will have an important role to play.
Being said that, the Dutchman will be frustrated for the lack of opportunities given to him. A January exit won’t be possible but if Solskjaer fails to give him minutes, he might look to move elsewhere. But, with the quality he possesses, it will be Manchester United’s loss if they allow him to leave so early.