The current Manchester United team is vastly different from the one that supporters watched struggle last season under three different managers.
Dressing room cliques and squad disharmony are no more and the team is showing steely resolve and are slowly but surely displaying the kind of form that can allow them to realise their goals.
Even though it is just the start, new manager Erik ten Hag is on the right path. The Dutchman has improved the club both off the field and on it.
His tactical nous and man-management style and has also got quite a few previously under-performing stars back on track.
ETH has transformed most aspects at United
But he is not a miracle worker and that can best be summed up by the fact that his presence has still not managed to get the best of his former protégé — Donny van de Beek.
A bonafide star back at Ajax, the Dutch midfielder has never truly impressed for the Red Devils since his move back in the summer of 2020.
After a listless few seasons under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, a loan spell at Everton was meant to signal his return to form.
But that loan spell failed as well and just when it looked like his United career was stuttering to a halt, news emerged of his former coach’s arrival at Old Trafford.
Mikael Silvestre: “Sayangnya, kita belum melihat banyak perubahan pada Donny van de Beek. Ia tidak memiliki banyak kesempatan untuk menjadi starter. Kita belum dapat melihat pemain yang kita lihat sebelumnya di Ajax." pic.twitter.com/G0KXzwIVar
— Manchester United World (@manutd_world) December 25, 2022
What was supposed to mark the beginning of his career’s renaissance ended up turning into a fresh nightmare and it is showing no sign of abatement.
The 25-year-old has managed one start in the Premier League this campaign and even failed to impress during the Spanish friendly he took part in.
Donny one of ETH’s biggest failures
Another mystery injury meant he has now failed to start against Burnley in the EFL Cup despite the obvious selection conundrums that were posed to Ten Hag due to the World Cup.
Yet another damning indictment on his time at the club and former United defender Mikel Silvestre feels the Red Devils should sell him if there is no “change” in the remainder of this season.
“He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to start. We haven’t seen the player he was at Ajax. If it’s not within the next five to six months, till the end of the season, then there should be a change.
“Yes there are a lot of games to come so there will be a need for fresh players. We expect him to come from the bench and grab the opportunities.
“It’s hard when you don’t have a run of games. Let’s wait and see for Donny van de Beek.”
Ten Hag had already indicated that there was no point in sending him out temporarily yet again and it might be the beginning of the end for Van de Beek at United.
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