Man Utd lost £ 35 million to recruit midfielder Donny Van De Beek, but they never fully exploited the player’s ability.
Donny Van De Beek has only made 28 appearances since putting pen to paper on a £35m deal with Man Utd in September 2020.
That means the Red Devils paid £1.25m for each of Van De Beek’s appearances. That is not counting the salary, bonuses they have to pay regularly for the Dutch midfielder during the past 3 years. To this day, people still wonder if Van De Beek was a mistake for Man Utd when the fact that Van De Beek’s performances every time he came on was not bad.
In his first season, this player played 19 Premier League matches, but the total minutes was only 511. From the 2021/22 season onwards, there was no season when he appeared in all 10 matches in the domestic league. Even in half a season playing for Everton on loan, he also played 7 matches, with a total of 483 minutes
Once considered one of Europe’s most exciting midfielders, Van de Beek is now 26 years old and is aware that his career has not developed as many expected after a memorable string of days with Ajax in the arena. Champions League season 2018/19.
Van De Beek is known to be likable, popular with teammates and staff at Carrington, but Old Trafford doesn’t seem like the right destination for him.
There have been four different coaches – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Michael Carrick, Ralf Rangnick and Erik ten Hag led Van De Beek and they all did not use him too much although at times the 26-year-old midfielder’s condition was good enough.
Ten Hag has a great relationship with Van de Beek at Ajax, but the teacher is also struggling to deal with the student.
Van De Beek has completed his recovery and is back in training ahead of the FA Cup final. He ended the season playing less than 300 minutes. In November, Ten Hag “challenged” the student that he needed to “fight” for his place. After that, Van De Beek suffered a knee injury and “overcoming the illness” was also a dilemma for the Dutch player.
Van De Beek has 4 starts this season. The last time was against Aston Villa in November. At that time, he was assigned to kick No. 10. Man Utd’s No. 10 position was a question mark for Ten Hag if Bruno Fernandes did not start. At one point, Ten Hag even pulled Wout Weghorst down to play as a 10 to create space at the top.
In terms of his ability to penetrate the box, Van De Beek has all the qualities to play there. This player’s processing skill set is quite diverse and he can completely launch slot attacks with damage not inferior to Bruno. The problem with the former Ajax midfielder is probably that he was never fit to be ready to play 38 games a season.