OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER’S reluctance to start £40million summer signing Donny van de Beek has raised questions throughout Europe.
More than that, though – it has made Manchester United’s loyal fanbase question whether or not the United manager wanted him in the first place.
Van de Beek has bizarrely been stuck on the bench this season – and questions are now being askedCredit: Sky Sports
Van de Beek is quickly becoming Man Utd’s new Juan Sebastian VeronCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
In 37 appearances in all competitions last season for Ajax, Van de Beek registered ten goals and 11 assists.
The season before he found the back of the net 17 times and assisted on 13 occasions.
People on social media have moaned that it’s a long season and that he’ll get his chance.
But this United is inconsistent and against Chelsea at the weekend, Solskjaer’s side were crying out for something different.
The week before during the 4-1 win at Newcastle, Van de Beek showed a glimpse of what he is capable of.
Sent on in the 76th minute and with the score at 1-1, it was the Dutchman’s clever play in the build-up to Bruno Fernandes’ goal that helped open up the Toon midfield.
That performance was followed by a short run out as a substitute in Paris in the Champions League, before back to looking dejected from the stands last Saturday tea-time as an unused bench-warmer.
The best way for a player to gain form and consistency is through playing matches.
United aren’t on a ridiculously good run, so fans are quite rightly asking why he hasn’t started more.
It felt a strange move when he joined – not because he lacked quality but because in Paul Pogba and Fernandes, United already have two highly-talented players who operate in his preferred position.
Van de Beek’s failure to start a Premier League game also hasn’t gone unnoticed in his home country.
Holland legend Marco van Basten believes the 23-year-old shouldn’t have joined United and instead chosen a club where he would be playing more regularly.
Speaking to Dutch TV channel Ziggo Sport, Van Basten said: Donny shouldn’t have gone to United.
“When you’re a good player you want to play every week.”
And it was a view shared by former United defender Patrice Evra who posted on Twitter: “Why did we buy Van de Beek?”
Van de Beek has looked good in his brief run-outs – so why is Solskjaer letting him rot on the bench?
So was Van de Beek a Solskjaer signing or was he given to him by United’s recruitment team to keep fans happy?
At the moment it feels like another Juan Sebastien Veron moment.
A player United didn’t quite need, and a cheaper alternative to say, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, who could have floated in nicely from the right or left.
There may well be a greater plan here and Van de Beek may have been told to bide his time until Pogba moves on, either in January or more likely next summer.
But, as we saw during the last window, there are no guarantees.
At the moment, United have a talented player who looks disillusioned, who doesn’t fit the starting XI and who in all honesty should probably start to think about his own exit strategy.
That is, unless he is given more opportunities to start – beginning against RB Leipzig on Wednesday evening.
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