Everton boss Frank Lampard would love to keep Donny van de Beek beyond the terms of his loan deal but knows he will probably return to Manchester United.
Van de Beek moved to Old Trafford from Ajax in the summer of 2020, with the Red Devils paying in the region of £35m. Much was expected of the Netherlands international but it has been a struggle with the north-west giants. Former United chief Ole Gunnar Solskjaer barely used the Dutchman, handing him four starts among 19 league appearances during 2020-2021.
The midfielder found himself on the peripheries once again this term, with just 67 minutes of top-flight football from August to January. That prompted a temporary switch to Goodison Park in the winter window.
Van de Beek has been given the nod on five occasions and featured in six top-flight matches. But his progress has been hampered by Covid and injury.
He is now fit and in line to play some part in Sunday’s Merseyside derby when Everton travel the short distance to Anfield. However, his future beyond the current campaign is unclear.
He will return to the Theatre of Dreams when his Everton deal expires. But there will be a summer of upheaval at United as incoming manager Erik ten Hag shapes his squad.
Many players are expected to leave as the Dutchman tries to bring the good times back to the club. Whether or not that includes his compatriot only time will tell.
But a report earlier this week claimed Van de Beek is one of the stars he wants to keep.
Van de Beek likely to be given United chance
There is no question that United need a major overhaul if they are to challenge for honours once again. Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal all-but ended their hopes of a top-four finish.
Van de Beek has yet to show his true colours at old Trafford but may now be handed a chance. Lampard has expressed a desire to keep hold of the man with 19 Netherlands caps.
But he is realistic enough to know that other parties are in control of his destiny.
“We worked hard in quick time one or two days before the deadline and we were really pleased to get him,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“Unfortunately, in recent weeks Donny wasn’t so well, then he had an injury then he had a baby. Not that that affected us, it’s great news for him.
“So we just need to get the most we can out of Donny in these next seven games and then, of course, the options are all in his hands. He is a Manchester United player at that point.”