Donny van de Beek must take his share of the ‘blame’ if his time at Premier League giants Manchester United comes to an end this month.

That is the view of Martin O’Neil; the former Celtic, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City boss as underwhelmed by the rest of us with a player who was expected to make quite the impact at Old Trafford.

Manchester United paid £35 million to sign Donny van de Beek after an excellent spell at Ajax. That debut goal against Crystal Palace on the opening day of 2020/21, however, was almost the very definition of a ‘false dawn’.

Manchester United v Olympique Lyonnais - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Three years on, a man renowned for his finishing ability in the Netherlands has only scored once more in England’s top flight. And that came in a 4-1 hammering at Watford which spelled the end of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era.

And if Solskjaer’s successor has his way, Van de Beek will be gone before the month is out. If the Dutchman’s former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag cannot salvage his Old Trafford career, surely nobody can.

Manchester United hope for Donny Van de Beek sale

“He has never done it. He did not do anything for Manchester United,” O’Neil tells talkSPORT (21 August, 11am).

“I felt it was just too much for him. His job was to try and take players on, play that little pass. Every single time he came on, he laid the ball sideways. I could have done that!

“He’s not up to it. He didn’t seem to have the confidence to go past players. He’s as much to blame as anybody else.”

Of course, fortune hasn’t really been on Van de Beek’s side either. A season-ending injury suffered in early 2023 scuppered any hopes he may have had of recapturing that Ajax form, though it must be said that his performances earlier on in that campaign hardly served to set the world alight.

La Liga move collapses

According to the Daily Mail, United hope to recoup £25 million of their investment, though the chances of that happening seem slim indeed.

Real Sociedad held talks with the 26-year-old’s camp recently. A move to San Sebastian appears to be off the cards, however, with Sociedad landing another midfielder in Dinamo Moscow’s Arsen Zakharyan.

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