Manchester United took their revenge on Aston Villa for the Premier League debacle by beating them 4-2 in their Carabao Cup third round contest on Thursday.
It was hard-earned as United had to come back from a goal down on two separate occasions before securing passage to the fourth round of the competition.
One player who kept his place from the league disaster was Donny van de Beek but he could not make any sort of positive impact for time time he was on the pitch.
He was so poor that goalkeeper Martin Dubravka ended up having more touches of the ball in the first-half than the former Ajax midfielder.
Erik ten Hag has said no loan move for Donny van de Beek, "it's either he fights and proves himself, or he goes (sold)."
Love Donny, but this is what it has to be. Prove you're good enough for Man Utd, or leave. No favoritism. pic.twitter.com/F8x4mjIg4T
— UtdFaithfuls (@UtdFaithfuls) November 11, 2022
And he was rightly substituted after a third consecutive ineffectual display with many contemplating whether he was cut to represent United.
And when posed the question whether his compatriot should ideally go out on loan to gather confidence before playing for the Red Devils, Ten Hag said that either Van De Beek had to prove his worth amidst the competition or risk being sold.
“I don’t think a loan [makes] sense. It’s either he fights [for] himself and proves himself, in this atmosphere in this environment, or he goes,” the manager commented.
Brutal ETH verdict
The versatile Dutch international has already been linked with a move away from United in the winter transfer window after struggling to make an impact during the course of the season..
However, Ten Hag refused to rule out his former protégé from showing his true worth. He mentioned that he has already seen glimpses of the midfielder’s talent which suggests he could still make it at Old Trafford.
“But for me, there is still a way for him, there is still a perspective for him. It’s not going to be easy because the competition there is really strong.
“I’ve seen him better in the past. But I think positioning-wise, he’s acting quite well. But he has to make that step up.”
Time is running out for Van De Beek to assure fans that he belongs in Manchester and can regain the form he had shown back in Amsterdam which had earned him a move to England.
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