Transfer Talk: What next for United flop Donny?

Matthew Storey
LiveScore
18/05/202213:00
Donny van de Beek's future remains unclear after an underwhelming loan spell at Everton
Donny van de Beek's future remains unclear after an underwhelming loan spell at Everton

For the second pre-season in a row, Donny van de Beek will be desperate to make an impact at Manchester United.

As his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag takes charge at Old Trafford, Van de Beek will know it is now or never for his chances of securing a long-term stay in Manchester.

We assess whether the Dutchman has a future as a Red Devil or is destined to play elsewhere, two years on from his £40million move.

Ten Hag relationship

To have the manager who got the best out of him moving to United is a huge boost for Van de Beek.

Widespread reports suggest Ten Hag wants the 25-year-old to stay and form part of his new-look side.

Ex-United striker Dimitar Berbatov said: "For a player, the relationship with the manager is probably the most important thing. 

"Van de Beek used to work with Ten Hag and he will know that he trusts him on the pitch, he will be free to explore, take chances, make mistakes and not worry about being substituted if he makes a bad pass. 

"When you have that trust you have that freedom on the pitch and it is a great feeling, trust me."

New beginnings

Donny van de Beek has struggled to make an impact at Manchester United or Everton
Donny van de Beek has struggled to make an impact at Manchester United or Everton

For every player at Old Trafford, Ten Hag’s arrival marks a fresh start.

The incoming boss has previously described Van de Beek's United career so far as a "mortal sin".

Now the midfielder may thrive in a more positive environment, especially if the Premier League giants bring in players this summer.

And Dutch legend Jaap Stam feels Van de Beek has not been helped by the general malaise in Manchester.

He said: "It’s difficult to say from the outside that this is it, but for a player to produce and do well, he needs to have other players around him who can produce and bring him to a certain level, because then it’s easier to step up for yourself as well."

Big pre-season

But Van de Beek is under more pressure than most to hit the ground running after a disappointing two seasons.

He only played 70 Premier League minutes before being sent out on loan to Everton in January and he has not lit up Goodison Park.

Toffees boss Frank Lampard has hailed his professionalism and sharpness and he will need more of that when reunited with Ten Hag.

Lampard said: "I'm really impressed. On a professional level, since speaking to him and coming and seeing him train and play, absolutely impressed with his fitness, his game sharpness.

"But when you watch him train it doesn’t surprise you. When I think back to the time he’s had at Manchester United, he's a top-level player."

Different league

Donny van de Beek has struggled to make an impact with the ball for Manchester United or Everton this term
Donny van de Beek has struggled to make an impact with the ball for Manchester United or Everton this term

Despite all of the positive noises surrounding Van de Beek since Ten Hag's appointment, there are no guarantees.

Their successful partnership in the Netherlands will not necessarily immediately translate when Ten Hag takes his first role in English football.

Despite looking bright in patches for Everton, the 19-cap international could not inspire the Toffees in his five starts, with four of them ending in defeat.

And despite all the talk last summer of improved fitness, injuries have kept him sidelined since mid-March.

Van de Beek would be far from the only player to struggle with the physicality and demands of life in the Premier League.

Who wants him?

If Van de Beek’s time at United does come to an end despite Ten Hag's arrival, it is unlikely we will see him in the Premier League again.

Everton are expected to prioritise defensive reinforcements if they stay up and would probably not want to pay the fee Old Trafford chiefs would demand anyway.

And that may be the issue for the Red Devils — nobody will be able to meet their asking price if they wanted to sell permanently.

A loan move back to Ajax or other Champions League qualifiers such as Borussia Dortmund or Napoli is the most likely.

But his focus will be on ensuring he does not become the latest Eredivisie star to leave England as a certified flop.

Tags

Premier LeagueEvertonManchester UnitedDonny van de Beek
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