Donny van de Beek was handed his first start for Everton over the weekend as The Toffees cruised to a 3-0 victory over Leeds.
After 17 months in the Premiership it was just the Dutchman’s fifth start as he failed to impress Manchester United managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Michael Carrick and Ralf Rangnick and struggled for game time.
Van de Beek was integral to the first Everton goal, his cross into the box was cut out but only as far as Seamus Coleman who headed it home.
According to @utdreport, across the 90 minutes he had 38 passes with an accuracy of 89.5%, influencing the game with dangerous balls in the final third.
Donny van de Beek vs Leeds:
89.5% pass accuracy
10 ball recoveries
7 duels won
Most possessions won in the middle third (6)
Joint-most tackles made (4)
Joint-most aerial duels won (3)
1 chance created
— utdreport (@utdreport) February 12, 2022
His defensive work was good too, as he tracked back well and made four tackles.
In comparison, during his last full game at United, the 1-1 draw against Young Boys, he made few passes in the final third and played none into the box.
Speaking after the game, Everton boss Frank Lampard, who brought him to the club, said to The Telegraph, “I brought him here because I know his talents.”
“He gave us a sense of calm, he linked the play and gave us a sense of confidence on the ball.”
Why Solskjaer and Rangnick overlooked the 24 year old remains a much discussed topic amongst United fans. Journalist Ian Whittell said his performance “Made a mockery of three Manchester United managers.”
If he continues to play like he did against Leeds on Saturday, he may give United something to think about in Summer.
Lampard is determined to get the Dutch international into the team one way or another and though he impressed as a sitting central midfielder, Lampard sees his versatility as a player.
“I think he can do different roles, and I think that’s the beauty and why I moved so quickly to get him when I came in.”
“He’s got the work ethic needed in that role, I know he can do higher, he’s a goal threat too.”
The emphatic win over Leeds allowed them to pull further away from the bottom of the table, giving them a cushion from the drop zone.
Meanwhile, The Reds grappled with a point at home to Southampton. Could Donny’s impressive performance encourage United to give him a second chance in Summer?