Man Utd: Van de Beek backed to succeed by de Boer
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still thinks Donny van de Beek can be an Old Trafford hit despite his lack of action so far, reports claim. The Netherlands international joined from Ajax back in the summer transfer window of 2020. But he’s made just four Premier League starts in the time since.
Manchester United chose to sign Van de Beek last year after being priced out of a deal for Jack Grealish by Aston Villa.
And, at the time, it was regarded as a substantial coup.
Van de Beek had sparkled for Ajax in the 2018/2019 campaign, helping them rise to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
But he’s struggled during his time at United so far, making just four Premier League starts in over a year.
Things recently boiled over with the 24-year-old as a result, in their 2-1 Champions League win over Villarreal.
Van de Beek cut a frustrated figure on the bench, throwing his chewing gum towards the technical area after he wasn’t brought on.
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Cristiano Ronaldo eventually saved United after they’d looked set to drop points for the second Champions League match in a row.
But while Van de Beek has struggled, The Athletic claim Solskjaer is still confident he can be a good asset for the club.
That, despite there being ‘concerns’ existing behind the scenes whether the Dutchman can handle life in the Premier League.
With the January transfer window creeping closer, United are being tipped to sell Van de Beek.
Juventus have been linked, especially with the Old Lady looking increasingly likely to offload Aaron Ramsey.
Barcelona have too, even if the Catalan giants’ financial situation may make a deal difficult to broker.
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And Arsenal and Inter Milan were both credited with an interest during the summer, with Van de Beek ultimately staying put.
Solskjaer was recently quizzed on Van de Beek’s tantrum against Villarreal and attempted to play things down.
“You know, I manage a squad full of international footballers, competitive footballers who want to make a difference, who want to play,” he said.
“They all want to be on the pitch, of course they do.
“Donny was ready to come on, as all players should be. I’ve been a sub more than anyone in this club probably.
“I must have a record appearance as a sub – and you have to be ready all the time. I’ve been not very happy a few times but that is the decision the manager makes.
“Alex was coming off as a left-back and Fred did that job well. So I understand the frustration, of course, every player is keen to play, that’s got to be built into energy and determination for when you get on and show me.
“It’s not just Donny, it’s players, I’ve got a squad of internationals and if we’re going to be successful we need positive energy, no sulkers.
“Donny has never affected his team-mates negatively. As soon as I see players affecting the team negatively then that’s a different scenario and I’ll probably be firmer.”
Paul Ince, meanwhile, thinks Van de Beek needs to leave.
Ince told the Kelly & Wrighty show: “If I’m going to buy a player, a top player from Ajax, the first thing I’m going to say is, ‘Am I going to play? Where do you see me fitting in, within the system, within the team?’
“He’s got £35million sitting on the bench.
“I can hold my hands up if I’m on the bench and the team are winning and playing well. You can’t tell me that Fred and [Scott] McTominay are playing well week-in and week-out, and even [Paul] Pogba because they’re not.
“But he seems to play them all the time, and I’m sitting there watching them play, I would be livid.
“He’s been professional, he’s done everything by the book. Ole’s come out saying he’s in my plans… he has to move in January for the good of his career.”
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