Van de Beek has played fewer Premier League minutes this season than Van Dijk
Poor Donny van de Beek has not had much of a look in for Manchester United since signing.
If you were to say Van de Beek has played 11 Premier League games out of 21, it would even then be misrepresenting the situation.
Van de Beek has only started two out of these 21 matches.
His last league start was on December 5, and the only 90 minutes he played was against Southampton at the end of November, who United face tonight.
Van de Beek’s ability to resist pressure and retain the ball makes him a good player to select against strong pressing teams like Southampton. He also started in cup games against RB Leipzig and Liverpool.
But as far as the Premier League goes, the Dutchman has been continuously overlooked.
Many of his substitute appearances have just been the tail end, scraps of games. He got just eight minutes against Sheffield United last week.
To really rub in how overlooked Van de Beek has been, he need only look to Dutch teammate Virgil van Dijk.
Van Dijk suffered an ACL injury back in October. Yet he has still played substantially more minutes this season than Van de Beek.
Van de Beek has 256 league minutes. Van Dijk, out for the last three months, has 371.
The balance is wrong
United’s midfield is competitive, we knew that heading into the season. And a strong league position of second place shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t doing too much wrong.
But with form beginning to falter – just one win from the last four league games – Van de Beek deserves more of an opportunity to show what he can do.
He was not a last minute panic signing, but the very first move United made in the summer.
It’s disappointing there has not been a more decisive plan to get him involved than what we have seen so far. Hopefully that starts tonight.
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