After showing his frustration at not being chosen as a substitute against Villareal yesterday, Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek is set to demand clarity from the club over his future.
The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath notes that having been promised more game time this season by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Van de Beek ‘has played fewer minutes on the pitch than at this stage last season.’
McGrath writes that the Dutchman ‘will look for assurances of where he stands at Manchester United after his frustration at not playing boiled over.’
He adds that Van de Beek ‘was expecting more game time in his second campaign at Old Trafford, rather than one full game in the League Cup and being taken off at half-time against Young Boys.
‘When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned to Fred and Jesse Lingard to chase down a winner against Unai Emery’s team, Van de Beek was consoled by fellow substitutes Eric Bailly and Dean Henderson on the bench before throwing his chewing gum to the floor in anger.
‘It was another low for United’s £35 million signing from Ajax a year ago, who is inevitably frustrated at never earning the trust of Solskjaer in the big matches and is losing his place in the Holland squad as a result.’
Whilst arguably Solskjaer’s substitution choices were vindicated as both Fred and Lingard had a hand in the winning goal, Solskjaer’s handling of the 24-year-old continues to puzzle most onlookers, who see a world class midfielder being constantly sidelined.
To make matters worse, United’s midfield has been palpably the team’s weakest area all season and so the fact that he is still not selected adds insult to injury for the former Ajax man.
The Telegraph reporter also notes that ‘there was interest in Van de Beek in the summer but United chose to keep him at the club, where he was looking to play more than his four Premier League starts last season following a year of adapting to English football.’
He also showed his determination and commitment to the cause by undergoing an extensive fitness program over the summer to improve his physique.
‘His only appearance in the Premier League has been five minutes as a substitute after victory was all-but-secured against Newcastle United, with Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic all seemingly further up the pecking order heading into this weekend’s game against Everton,’ McGrath concludes.
How Solskjaer and the club will respond to Van de Beek’s demands for assurances, and whether it is perceived to be passionate or petulant, remains to be seen.