OLE NOT A VAN: DONNY VAN DE BEEK'S SLOW START TO UNITED LIFE
Ever since Donny van de Beek arrived on the red side of Manchester during last summer’s transfer window, he has struggled to make his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's starting XI and has spent much more time than he would have imagined watching on from the sidelines.
Van de Beek’s transfer was somewhat of an odd one as the rumour mill only started heating up just four days before the deal was complete following his exclusion from the Ajax matchday squad. This is a rarity for a club like Manchester United who usually leak information like a sieve, especially around transfers. Up until then, the window had been filled with transfer speculation surrounding Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and many more world class players, but Donny van de Beek was not a name that we had been familiar to hearing, which in hindsight may have raised a few eyebrows.
Despite this, United fans who were left with very little to cheer about in terms of big-name player signings that summer were delighted to hear of Van de Beek’s signing, hoping that he could partner the revolutionary Bruno Fernandes in midfield and help drive the team to the silverware that they had been deprived of for a number of years.
Initially, the signs for the young Dutchman were promising as he came off the bench in United’s first Premier League game of the season and scored what proved to be a consolation goal in a 1-3 defeat at home to Crystal Palace, but a debut goal nonetheless.
However, this goal has proved to be his only one in a United shirt to date. In the Premier League, ten of his 12 appearances have come from the bench showing a distinct lack of trust in him from the manager to get the job done on the pitch. This continued distrust in such a new player to the club left some fans wondering was he ever actually wanted by Solsjkaer in the first place or was he simply a panic buy from the board in an attempt to appease the unhappy fans.
Looking in from the outside, you can’t help but feel for him as any time he plays he gives 100% to the team and the severe lack of playing time has clearly put a monstrous dent in his confidence. Without regular minutes with his teammates, it is hard to expect him to reach anywhere near the levels that Bruno Fernandes has reached since his arrival over a year ago.
However, at the moment he doesn’t seem to have gained enough trust from the manager in the few Champions League and domestic cup games that he has played, for him to rival the likes of Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the middle of the park just yet.
For now, it seems that Van de Beek will be kept watching from afar, as Ole still looks to find where the dutchman will fit into his side squad.