It’s been a frustrating start to life at Manchester United for Donny van de Beek, with appearances in the Premier League coming few and far between.
Despite arriving at Old Trafford with a glowing reputation having played key roles at both club and international level from a young age, the 23-year-old has been limited mainly to cup appearances so far.
Bruno Fernandes’ ongoing form, combined with a revitalised Paul Pogba, has made the United midfield an extremely competitive position, and so far, it’s van de Beek who has been forced to make way.
Despite that, Edwin van der Sar, who made 186 appearances for United and is currently Chief Executive at Ajax, has reassured fans that there isn’t anything to worry about yet, insisting that van de Beek is still very much part of the club’s plans going forward.
“I do talk to a lot of people at the club.” Van der Sar told Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport.
“Fantastic attitude, he does well in training.
“It [securing a spot in the Manchester United midfield] is difficult.
“Pogba is coming back, Fernandes is very important, Matic and McTominay, are also there.
“It’s no shame at all, it’s also a big club, isn’t it?
“Of course, it’s a large amount [Van de Beek’s transfer fee], but they are confident that he will get there.”
Speaking to Sky Sports, Gary Neville didn’t seem as convinced about the situation though, suggesting the signing was made in anticipation of Pogba potentially leaving.
“It’s interesting, something’s happened – the Van de Beek signing’s an interesting one – I still can’t get my head around it,
“It’s almost as if that signing was sort of done in anticipation of one of the others leaving because Van de Beek has just sat on the bench for the last few months and he cost £40million.
“I think that Manchester United are preparing for someone leaving. Maybe Pogba could leave, so they’ve already got Van de Beek in to maybe assume that role.”
It’s a difficult situation, especially given that the appearances midfielder has made, he’s by no means looked out of his depth. It’s also worth noting that he certainly isn’t the first young player to come to the Premier League and not hit the ground running.
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