Waiting for Ten Hag: Ajax boss may be Van de Beek's only hope
Frankly, we have given up predicting when Donny van de Beek get his next start.
The midfielder was routinely overlooked by former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to the point it felt personal, and hopes of a rebirth under Ralf Rangnick have already fallen flat.
Van de Beek ended 2021 without starting a single Premier League game over the first half of the season. 2022 has not got off to a better start either.
He was overlooked against Wolves on Monday and now he is not even being called on off the bench.
It must be incredibly dispiriting for the Dutchman, who knows his World Cup place for 2022 is in serious jeopardy too, having missed out on international squads due to a lack of club action late last year.
You could not blame Van de Beek for wanting to leave
There may be a good player in there, we are sure there is, but for one reason or another he is not being given a fair chance to succeed.
Its hardly fair to judge him on starts with the rest of the back-ups in the Carabao Cup early in the season, or when asked to single handedly anchor a midfield of Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard against Young Boys.
Van de Beek is at his best when he gets touches in the final third, but United are reluctant to give him those chances, even with Bruno Fernandes not starting the last two games.
With the FA Cup third round upcoming, there could be some rotation. But this is suddenly a must win game for an under pressure side, against a top flight team. It would be a shock is Van de Beek is in the line-up.
Over the first month, it seems Ralf Rangnick does not rate him. And the midfielder should be saying ‘play me or sell me’ to put him out of his misery.
Van de Beek’s last hope
Discarded by Solskjaer, ignored by Rangnick, Van de Beek has one last hope.
The manager many United fans want the club to appoint this summer is Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag, and you would think at the very least, there will be discussions.
Van de Beek worked with Ten Hag at Ajax, with huge success, scoring 40 goals in three seasons.
Rangnick will be staying as a consultant, and while he will make recommendations on certain players, Ten Hag will make his own mind up on Van de Beek, a player he knows well.
It would be heartbreaking for Van de Beek to quit United permanently this month, and then see Ten Hag pitch up at Old Trafford in June.
Mauricio Pochettino also rates him highly, and so Van de Beek just needs to wait it out, whatever that means for the rest of the season ahead.
This can mean fighting for his place and trying to win Rangnick over, while risking spending most of the time on the bench, or it could take the shape of pushing for a loan move.
A loan would allow Van de Beek to rediscover his confidence, and prove a point, while still keeping the door open for a reunion with Ten Hag in the summer.
- Two Manchester United transfer targets have previously voiced their affection for the club
- 'Totally unacceptable'… Gary Neville hits out at Glazer plan
- £42m PL move has double impact for Manchester United, including over 21-year-old star
- 'Love the way he plays football'… Rio Ferdinand raved about £60m Manchester United target
- Report: Manchester United enquire after Mexico international winger who is open to offers