Ajax manager Maurice Steijn has name-dropped struggling Manchester United star Donny van de Beek as someone who could help get his side out of their current predicament in terms of results.
At the moment, Ajax sit in 16th position in the Eredivisie, just two points above last-placed Utrecht.
It has been yet another challenging season for the Amsterdam giants, who have found it difficult to replicate their success after the exit of Erik ten Hag who joined United last summer.
Steijn spoke to reporters and suggested that one of the reasons for his side’s woes this campaign is that they lack enough quality and experienced players who are capable of making a difference when it really matters.
He said, “I look at the teenagers who can offer more than the players on the bench. Some senior players are not yet able to bring it in training and during substitute appearances.”
“I haven’t written them off. But I make different choices based on what I see in training and what I think the team needs.”
“Of course, this team would benefit incredibly from experienced players, such as Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek. Daley Blind and Dusan Tadic also excelled. We don’t have those guys, and that is a disadvantage for the team.”
Of all the players mentioned, Van de Beek seems to be the most attainable for Ajax considering his troubles at Old Trafford.
Since his £39m move in 2020, the Dutch midfielder has failed to nail down a regular starting berth at United or become an important squad member.
It was hoped that Ten Hag’s appointment could be the catalyst to finally get the 26-year-old out of this rut but unfortunately, that did not come to pass.
So far this campaign, Van de Beek has only managed two substitute appearances. He was not even registered in United’s official Champions League squad, such has been his decline.
The Red Devils tried to offload him during the summer transfer window. There was interest from Turkish clubs and Real Betis but nothing materialized.
Following Steijn’s admission, a return to Ajax could be the thing that hands Van de Beek the opportunity to revive his career.