Raphael Varane relishing Manchester United challenge
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Donny van de Beek has had a difficult first 12 months at Manchester United since his big-money move from Ajax, and the Dutch midfilelder could face another setback after Louis van Gaal’s previous comments about the midfielder’s decision to move to Old Trafford.
Donny van de Beek is a forgotten man at Manchester United, and has only started four Premier League matches since signing for £40million in September 2020.
Despite the slow start to his United career, the 24-year-old seems determined to win over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and break into the first team at Old Trafford.
Van de Beek was a star at Ajax, who’s golden generation reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019 before Lucas Moura’s injury time winner broke Dutch hearts and sent Tottenham through to the final.
Whereas former Ajax teammates Hakim Ziyech and Frankie De Jong have kicked on, van de Beek has failed to make the next step, and faces further disappointment with his national side.
Former Dutch manager Frank de Boer has a great relationship with van de Beek as the two worked together at Ajax, but with Louis van Gaal now in charge on the national team, the United midfielder may find it difficult to represent his country without regular game time.
Van Gaal criticised van de Beek’s choice to join United last year as he said: “I hope his time will come, but I don’t think he made a good choice.
“If you have [Paul] Pogba and [Bruno] Fernandes, what position should Van de Beek be in?”
Van de Beek was included in De Boer’s Euro 2020 squad but had to withdraw due to injury, and he may not make the cut for van Gaal’s squad ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Norway, Montenegro and Turkey.
To make matters worse for the midfielder’s chances, van Gaal typically prefers to work with a smaller number of players, with only 22 or 23 Dutch nationals expected to make the squad.
Van Gaal is an extremely experienced but ruthless individual, and has no issues with letting down players, as he famously told Robin van Persie in 2015 that he had no United future while the pair were out golfing.
With van Gaal not impressed with van de Beek’s decision to join and commit his future at United, it’s unlikely that the Dutch manager will be sympathetic to the midfielder, who faces a selection crisis both domestically and internationally.
Van Gaal has reiterated that: “I need to select fit players because we must perform immediately” to fulfil his high ambitions in charge and van de Beek is yet to feature for United this season.
The Dutch manager has claimed: “My goal is to become world champion” and only want’s the fittest and sharpest players to be included in his selection.
Sunday’s draw against Southampton was the 20th time that van de Beek has been unused on the United bench, but the Dutchman has been working to better himself behind the scenes.
There were reports from Old Trafford that van de Beek was not physically built for the Premier League, but the midfielder spent a month training five days a week in an Amsterdam gym this summer.
Van de Beek has reportedly bulked up and switched to a new diet to help his chances, but if the Dutchman can’t win over Solskjaer this year, it may be time to move elsewhere.
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