Donny van de Beek is “expected to play a role” for Manchester United after the appointment of Erik ten Hag, it has been revealed.
Things have not gone to plan for van de Beek since he left Ajax for Manchester United in 2020. The midfielder made just four Premier League starts in his debut season with the club.
Then, he failed to start a single league game in the first half of the 2021-22 campaign. Manchester United subsequently loaned him to Everton, where he played five times from the first whistle in the league.
The temporary switch did not exactly revive van de Beek’s fortunes in the way all parties were hoping for. Now, he faces a career crossroads as he returns to his parent club.
United have him under contract until 2025. As things stand, they are unlikely to recoup the £35m fee they paid for him two years ago – yet his future with the club could easily be doubted.
However, the appointment of Ten Hag as the next United manager has given van de Beek new hope. The pair worked together during their days at Ajax.
Van de Beek has played more matches for Ten Hag than any other coach in his career. During 110 outings in his Ajax reign, the midfielder rewarded his manager with 32 goals and 29 assists.
It was the best period of van de Beek’s career. Now, he needs a fresh start – but that could be back in Manchester.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Ten Hag has a place in his plans for his compatriot at Old Trafford.
Romano tweeted: “Erik ten Hag has Donny van de Beek in his plans for next season, as things stand. Been told he’s now expected to play a role in Manchester United team.”
Van de Beek will have to hope for better third season
The situation could be dynamic depending on any other plans at Man Utd. But for the time being, the 25-year-old can think about embarking on a third season with United.
He will hope to make it more of a success than the previous two. Perhaps working with Ten Hag again can give him a new lease of life.
But the burden of representing a club with as much pressure as Man Utd will not have gone away. Therefore, van de Beek will have work to do to justify his new manager’s faith.
At his age, this will be a pivotal season in his career. Man Utd would hope to benefit from any upturn in form he could manage.