Manchester United have a leader Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is wasting at Old Trafford
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Manchester United star Donny van de Beek nearly left the club this summer, his agent has confirmed. And that should be no surprise. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has wasted the 24-year-old so far, with the Netherlands international appearing to be the odd one out over at Old Trafford.
Speaking to Ziggo Sport, Van de Beek’s agent confirmed a move to Everton was close before United ultimately pulled the plug.
“Cristiano arrived on Friday which we knew was bad news for us,” he said.
“Pogba plays on the left, and with Cristiano’s arrival it means another extra player in midfield, with Pogba moving away from the left.
“We had conversations with Solskjær and the board.
“We took the initiative to find a club and our search ended up at Everton. We opened talks with Marcel Brands and Farhad Moshiri.
“On Monday night [before deadline day] we received a call from Solskjær and the club who told us that a transfer was out of the question and that he had to report himself to training the next morning.
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“The perspective now is that we stated that Donny is not a Carabao Cup player, or FA Cup player, or to play only in European games.
“Donny went to England to play in the Premier League.
“The way the conversation went this time [with Solskjær] compared to last summer… things are much more clear now.
“I have full expectations that Donny will get his chance now.
“Donny worked extremely hard in the summer. He only had seven days off. The rest of the summer he trained to become top fit. He is totally ready.”
And the brutal truth of the matter is Van de Beek is right to want out.
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When the Red Devils signed him last year, they believed they were onto a winner. After all, he’d sparkled for Ajax, helping them establish themselves as part of Europe’s elite once again.
Van de Beek was made Ajax captain after the departure of Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus because he was deemed worthy by supremo Edwin van der Sar.
And he didn’t disappoint, skippering them to Eredivisie glory before moving to Old Trafford.
United have, however, failed to give him a platform to shine.
Van de Beek’s time with the club actually started positively, with the midfielder finding the net in a 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace.
But he made just four Premier League starts before the season came to an end, not even getting on the pitch in their Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.
Now, this term, he’s not even made it onto the pitch.
And his agent is right. Cristiano Ronaldo’s spectacular return has complicated matters further for the Dutchman.
In midfield, Van de Beek is certainly a spare part.
He doesn’t have the nous of Nemanja Matic, nor the grit and energy levels of Fred and Scott McTominay.
He doesn’t score more goals than Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, on his day, is a substantial class above.
And then, in the forward positions, United are again well-stocked.
Van de Beek can play on the left wing but Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and even Pogba are better options in Solskjaer’s eyes.
So what next?
Denied a summer exit, United could allow Van de Beek to move on when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.
But that may hinge on whether they’re able to bring in a replacement. And, having spent substantial amounts this summer even with the pandemic in mind, there’s no guarantee that can happen.
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