Donny van de Beek has sealed his Man Utd fate
This was the week in which Donny van de Beek was supposed to resurrect his Manchester United career. Instead, he has consigned it to the trash can, with the Netherlands midfielder having apparently used up all of his lives.
Signed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Van de Beek never made the impression that was expected under the Norwegian and failed to make the predicted improvement when Ralf Rangnick took over.
Erik ten Hag’s arrival in the summer was then hailed as a new dawn for the 25-year-old, but instead Van de Beek has only continued to sink under a coach he had worked with previously at Ajax, hindered by injuries and increased competition.
On Sunday, he was handed his first Premier League start for Man Utd since 23 May, 2021. It lasted only 65 minutes as he was hauled off in a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa, which raised fresh questions over Manchester United’s ability to challenge for a top-four position but effectively answered those asking where Van de Beek’s future lies.
🤔 Donny van de Beek: keep, loan or sell?— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) November 7, 2022
It is hard to see a way back for the Dutchman at Old Trafford after a performance in which he failed to offer anything from the No.10 role.
Van de Beek has had something of a cult following at Man Utd since arriving at the club for €39 million from Ajax in 2019 but even his staunchest fans would do well to defend his performance at Villa Park.
Van de Beek anonymous against Villa
He was playing a pivotal role in the Man Utd attack yet contrived to touch the ball only 18 times – a remarkably feeble number for a player expected to be vital in opening up the opposing defence.
Underlining his anonymity, he competed in just two duels, failed to win a single tackle, complete an interception or even gain possession back one.
He did complete one key pass but for that to be the sum total of everything positive that he achieved in over an hour on the field is a damning statistic for a player who was once held in such high regard.
That Van de Beek is now on his way out of Old Trafford is surely just a question of time, whether it is in January or summer 2023, Man Utd cannot afford to keep such bagged in their ranks.