Donny van de Beek has struggled to make his mark on Manchester United so far.
Much of that is down to the form of Bruno Fernandes. While Paul Pogba looks resurgent and Fred and Scot McTominay are bossing things further back.
As a result, van de Beek has been very much on the periphery.
It is testament to United’s strength in depth that a £40million signing (BBC) has barely featured. Yet this weekend offers the Dutchman an ideal chance to impress.
United take on Liverpool for the second time in a week; this time in the fourth round of the FA Cup. And Van de Beek is likely to start with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer freshening things up.
The games are coming thick and fast for United. And the league leaders cannot afford to burn their key performers out.
Van de Beek has been an unused substitute in United’s last six league matches. And he will be chomping at the bit to impress after starting in the previous round of the cup.
Liverpool are struggling but they have the ideal chance to turn things round against their fiercest rivals. Similarly, some of United’s fringe players will know this is a match to make the most emphatic of statements.
Quality will shine through
Van de Beek is a quality player who has done well when called upon. Hopefully next season he will be a regular starter. But, for now, he must seize any chance that comes his way.
That starts against Liverpool. And a strong performance from a player with 10 goals and 11 assists last season is a must.
United’s summer signing will be angry to spend practically every game on the bench. And that is no bad thing.
He now needs to channel that anger and ensure he gives Solskjaer a selection headache.
Putting another dent in Liverpool’s trophy hopes is the best way to do it.