Ralf Rangnick was asked about Donny van de Beek’s Manchester United future at his press conference ahead of the clash with Aston Villa.
Van de Beek has reportedly been offered to Newcastle United and Borussia Dortmund on loan, with his struggles for gametime continuing under Rangnick.
The German did bring him on in the second half of Monday’s 1-0 FA Cup third round win over Aston Villa, and praised his cameo performance.
He also said he has advised the Dutchman to remain at Old Trafford until the end of the season, despite concerns over his involvement in the 2022 World Cup unless his playing situation changes.
“I’m glad to have him in the squad,” said Rangnick when asked for the latest update on van de Beek’s situation.
“He came on in a last 15-20 minutes against Villa in the cup game and he did well. He’s always performing on a high level in training. For him, I have a conversation two weeks ago after training exactly about that.
“I told him I would advise him to stay until the end of the season, and then, of course, with the World Cup coming up in winter, he wants to play in the World Cup for his country and Louis van Gaal obviously told him that in order to be a regular starter for the World Cup, he needs to regularly play for his team.
“I can understand his desire to play, on the other hand, we have a lot of competition in our squad in exactly those positions.”
It was recently reported that Rangnick has concerns over van de Beek’s ability to cover the ground in midfield, and that is why he has not been playing him.
But he said he has been impressed with his training performances, and his substitute appearance against Villa, so what more does van de Beek need to do to get a game?
It is not like United are playing well right now; Rangnick is still searching for a formula and van de Beek could be a part of the solution.
Rangnick should certainly make more effort to use van de Beek if he isn’t going to use him, rather than just keep him around in case of an injury crisis or Covid outbreak.
By the time the end of the season comes along, the plan is for Rangnick to step aside in the dugout and van de Beek will be another manager’s conundrum.
It is to be hoped between now and then that he has played more often for United, unless Rangnick softens his stance and grants a loan move.
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