The struggles have been well documented that Donny van de Beek has had to endure since arriving in Manchester over a year ago from AFC Ajax, with no sense of an immediate end to ease his torment.
The Red Devils paid £35 million for the services of van de Beek but have used him sparingly while under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. While it was the Norwegian’s signing and his sign-off was placed on the transfer, the Dutch international has struggled to make his way into the starting line-up.
Questions have arisen for the treatment of the midfielder, who had signed with the club after a tremendous final campaign with Ajax. During the 2019/20 season, van de Beek had recorded 21 goal contributions in 37 appearances throughout all competitions, coming from an advanced midfield role.
Throughout the Champions League, especially against Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final, van de Beek’s qualities were transparent for all to see. His ability to combine with other players in-and-around the box was special, as well as his quick-footedness to get out of trouble and read what was in front of him.
While players need time to adapt to the physicality and speed of the Premier League
Even with Bruno Fernandes occupying the 10 position, so much talk and criticism has been made of Manchester United’s double pivot with Fred and Scott McTominay that one would have thought he would have muscled his way in there by now.
After all, van de Beek has previous of playing as a number eight with Ajax. While it might not have been his preferred position, he has shown he can fulfil the tasks needed and still pose a threat in the final third in creating chances.
Solskjaer’s job is on the line and will find it difficult to maintain his position at the club if he is to endure a few more poor results. The next three games – Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta and Manchester City – are absolutely crucial to the future of the Norwegian coach.
If Manchester United decide to pull the plug on the manager’s time at Old Trafford, it would be expected for the new coach to find a fluid system in order to incorporate the talents of van de Beek.
No one is expecting the Dutch midfielder to play every single game of the campaign, but it seems a waste to see van de Beek on the pitch in the Premier League for six minutes so far this season.
If van de Beek is not used more regularly and cannot have a proper, meaningful contribution this season to the team, it will not be long before he decides to sign for a new club and showcase his ability.