Home » Donny van de Beek has the potential to do better, says Erik ten Hag

Donny van de Beek has the potential to do better, says Erik ten Hag

With Fernandes suspended and the Carabao Cup up next, Van De Beek could finally get his chance

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United are currently on a nine-game unbeaten run and they will be hoping to carry on in the same vein when they take on Aston Villa on Sunday.

Villa will be buoyed due to the arrival of their new boss Unai Emery and the West Midlands club will be hoping to take advantage of the new manager bounce.

For Erik ten Hag, the clash will be further complicated due to the absence of the ever-present Bruno Fernandes due to suspension.

Bruno’s replacement

The Portuguese has so far started in all games this season and has notched two goals and an assist in the league. It will not be easy to replace him due to the lack of direct replacements.

Fred has been trialed there in one game but he failed miserably and is much better suited playing further behind. The closest player in terms of profile is Donny van de Beek, who has recently come back from injury.

The Dutch playmaker made a cameo appearance against Sheriff Tiraspol last week before playing 58 minutes against Real Sociedad.

The Dutch manager was posed the question on Fernandes’ absence and how he was planning to deal with it for Sunday’s game.

“We know that we have to replace Bruno, that is quite clear. We have to see how we replace him, and we have to think about that,” he said during the pre-match press conference.

Van De Beek has failed to hit the heights expected of him since his arrival. He was a star back at Ajax but has failed to shine in Manchester.

The 25-year-old was not trusted by former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer while interim-boss Ralf Rangnick had opted to send him out on loan to Everton.

It was expected that the midfielder would finally get his chance under his former Ajax boss but that has not materialised as yet.

Van De Beek has made just a solitary start in the Europa League while playing a total of 19 minutes in the Premier League.

Can Donny stake his claim?

When asked if there comes a point where United have to accept it’s not worked with Van de Beek, Ten Hag replied: “Yes, but that can’t be now.

“Because he had quite a good pre-season, he was injured, now he is back, last week he came (against FC Sheriff) and I think he played very well, 50 minutes, and I think today was a decent performance.”

Injuries have also not helped his cause and the manager pointed out that there is still a chance that the Dutch international could come good in the colours of United.

“I know he can do better because I know (him) very well, but he delivered what I expected in terms of positioning and also pressing, in terms of transition. But I think he can do more and that’s his biggest quality – he can be more of a threat to an opponent’s goal.

“I don’t know (why he has struggled). I can only talk about my time here. In my time here, he is performing well in the game-time we gave him.”

Fernandes is not exactly firing on all cylinders and with the Carabao Cup tie against the same opposition up next, this could finally be Van De Beek’s chance to impress.


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