• Dan Tracey


Donny Van De Beek
Rather Bleak For Donny Van De Beek

For someone who could have chosen any of Europe’s biggest clubs for his next move, there is a sense that he has chosen the wrong option and the man who is going through a period of football purgatory at present, is none other than Donny Van De Beek.

Part of an Ajax team that reached the 2019 Champions League Semi-finals, Van De Beek was always going to be on the radar of the continent’s superpowers and although a move did not materialise that same summer, it would eventually 12 months later.

A move that saw the Dutch international swap Amsterdam for Manchester and with United acquiring the services of the 23-year-old, it was touted as one of the most impressive deals of the most recent off-season.

£35m was the fee required to facilitate such a switch and on the evidence of Van De Beek’s showing in the Champions League, it was considered to be an absolute bargain. However, that same fee is now looking like a rather hefty waste of money.

Admittedly switching countries and leagues is hard for any player and none more so than when operating within the clutches of a global pandemic - something that should be remembered when discussing the midfielder’s plight.

Then again, we now find ourselves in the final quarter of this Premier League season and when you consider that Van De Beek has only made two starts in the competition for his current employers, it suggests that all is not well at Old Trafford.

To the point where the player himself is demanding talks with the club’s hierarchy and those talks will be largely based around one demand: play me with more regularity between now and the end of the season or I am off when the transfer window re-opens.

Not only that, but with the Netherlands being one of the 24 nations that will play in the delayed European Championships, inactivity is the last thing a tournament hopeful needs and that is exactly the situation that United’s number 34 finds himself in.

It may be a large stretch to suggest he will not make the final 23 for the Dutch, although he is certainly not doing his chances any good at present and playing the role of United’s benchwarmer, will do little to boost his overall prospects.

Van De Beek has not been completely frozen out, as 11 starts in all competitions would suggest and on top of that, a further 15 showings as substitute. Then again, there does seem to be a lack of trust when it comes to starting in United’s bread and butter competition.

That of course being the Premier League and with Manchester United set to return to the Champions League next season by virtue of a top four domestic finish at the end of this one, perhaps manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not want to tinker with a largely winning system.

Good news for fans of the club, as a return to Europe’s top table is all but on the cards. Bad news for a talented midfielder who is now kicking his heels in a new city and is dreaming of a move to regain a regular starting role.

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