Rangnick responds when asked why he didn't play van de Beek more

Manchester United’s most high-profile deadline day business was loaning Donny van de Beek to Everton.

The Dutchman struggled for opportunities under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then started just one of Ralf Rangnick’s matches in charge, the Champions League dead rubber against Young Boys.

At his press conference ahead of tonight’s clash with Middlesbrough, Rangnick was asked why he did not select van de Beek more often.

The German was full of praise for the midfielder and said it was a simply a matter of strong competition for places in the middle of the park.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

“In the end, it’s a question of competition,” replied Rangnick. “Quite like Paul Pogba, I see him as one of the central midfielders – a six or an eight. And we have quite a few good players in those positions, therefore he did not get much gametime.

“That does not mean he is not good enough for the Premier League or Manchester United. I am pretty sure he will get this gametime at Everton and show what kind of quality player he can be.

“He is a fantastic person. I got to know him over the last nine or ten weeks in person. I am fully aware that he is a fantastic team player.

“I wish him all the very best. I was in contact with him and wished him all the very best for the weeks and months ahead at Everton.”

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

There is competition for places in the United midfield, but Rangnick could still have offered van de Beek more gametime than he did.

Rangnick mentioned Paul Pogba there, and he could well go straight into the team against Middlesbrough and be more involved in the battle to be a genuine first team option than van de Beek ever was.

Everton have a midfield injury crisis so while he is cup-tied this weekend for their FA Cup clash with Brentford, van de Beek should go straight into the team for league matches.

It is to be hoped that he can show the qualities which earned him his United move in the first place when given regular opportunities to show what he can do.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.