Van de Beek lambasted by Van Basten: 'He's not that good'

Martin Macdonald
What a waste of money! Why did Man Utd sign Van de Beek if he doesn’t play?

Netherlands legend Marco van Basten does not believe Donny van de Beek is good enough to play for Manchester United.

The midfielder arrived at Old Trafford as the club's marquee signing last summer, joining from Ajax for a fee of €40 million.

In just over 12 months with Man Utd he has not been given consistent opportunities to impress, however, as he started just four matches in the 2020/21 Premier League season.

In all competitions, he made 17 appearances, 11 of which were starts, which amounted to less than 1,000 minutes of football.

Though Van de Beek has not sparkled when given an opportunity, many fans and pundits believe he would improve if he was given more consistent chances rather than just starts in the occasional cup game.

Van Basten, though, just thinks he doesn't have the capabilities to play at the elite level in England.

“It just wasn’t smart choices. If you say you spoke to Real Madrid and then you go to Manchester United, you are betting way too high," he said, as quoted by Voetbal Zone.

Van de Beek is not that good. As number 10 at Ajax it is much easier than as number 10 in Spain or England. In the Netherlands you get a lot of help, you get opportunities, but that is not the case abroad.”

Ronaldo's arrival

This summer Man Utd have signed Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Van de Beek's agent Guido Albers has admitted concern over Ronaldo's arrival in particular with regards to game time for his client.

With the Portuguese now in the team, Marcus Rashford, Sancho and Anthony Martial will compete for game time on the left or right, meaning that Paul Pogba will subsequently come into a central midfield position - Van de Beek's position.

“Cristiano arrived on Friday, which we knew was bad news for us. Pogba plays on the left, and with Cristiano’s arrival it means another extra player in midfield, with Pogba moving away from the left,” he told Ziggo Sport.

This comes as Albers failed in an 11th hour attempt to engineer a move for van de Beek, with any exit blocked off by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Albers had spoken of interest across England, Germany and Italy on deadline day, and has now admitted how close van de Beek was to joining Everton.

“We had conversations with Solskjaer and the board. We took the initiative to find a club and our search ended up at Everton. We opened talks with Marcel Brands (Everton Director of Football) and Farhad Moshiri (Everton owner),” he said.