The real numbers behind Donny van de Beek's 50 appearances for Manchester United

Sometimes it is best just to stay silent. Manchester United failed to understand that as Donny van de Beek made his 50th appearance for the club at the weekend.

Van de Beek made a very brief substitute appearance at the end against Aston Villa, and as usual did his best in what little time he was afforded.

Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Manchester United deemed this milestone worthy of celebration. Normally it would be, but Van de Beek’s 50 appearances have been courtesy of some embarrassing treatment by the club.

United’s celebration of Van de Beek’s half-century of appearances is pretty shameless, and lots of United fans on social media responded to let the club know it.

The real numbers behind Van de Beek’s 50 appearances

50 appearances sounds great, doesn’t it. The reality behind how Van de Beek got there is not so pretty.

  • Van de Beek’s 50 appearances total 1,836 minutes. Averaged out, Van de Beek plays for just 36.7 minutes per match.
  • Working it out another way, 1,836 minutes equates to just over 20 full matches of game time, nowhere near the full 50.
  • Just four of Van de Beek’s 50 appearances have included starts in the Premier League – with none so far this season.
  • In total, only 12 of Van de Beek’s 50 appearances have been as a starter, with 38 coming from the bench.
  • 15 of Van de Beek’s 50 games have seen him play for under 10 minutes as a late substitute.
  • He has completed 90 minutes only nine times, just three times in the Premier League.
  • Van de Beek’s irregular game time has contributed to him only scoring two goals and providing two assists.

As you can see, there really has been very little to cheer about Van de Beek’s tenure as a Manchester United player over the last 18 months. Considering he scored on his debut off the bench against Palace, it is a big disappointment the way it has gone.

Just last week, interim boss Ralf Rangnick told a press conference that Van de Beek should stay, and believes he can win back his place in the Netherlands World Cup squad. And then he left him out again, bringing him on only for the final two minutes at Villa Park.

Van de Beek hoped Rangnick’s appointment would bring a change of fortune, but it has not happened yet.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

A report in The Telegraph has claimed over the weekend that Van de Beek has turned down a loan move to Newcastle. Perhaps his sheer persistence at Old Trafford will pay off, and that might one day be worth celebrating.

If he can add another 50 games at United it would be an achievement bearing in mind how the first 50 have gone. Let’s just hope the next 50 are a proper 50, not like the below par numbers which have added up over the past year and a half.

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