Ten Hag to perform U-turn on expensive signing, as shocked Man Utd boss reignites January transfer

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United manager, during pre-season training at Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand

A January deal has been given a nudge after an expensive Man Utd signing was deemed “surplus to requirements” by a shocked Erik ten Hag, per a report.

Manchester United were brought back down to earth on Sunday. The Manchester derby gave United a chance to test how far they’ve come under Erik ten Hag. However, the 6-3 defeat proved a punishing reminder of the size of task facing the Dutchman.

A key selection dilemma heading into the game was whether Ten Hag would axe one of his more creative players in favour of the more defensive-minded Casemiro.

The United boss ultimately  went with who has served him well in the four-match winning streak. The end result was Man City cutting through United’s midfield at will.

One player who didn’t even enter the conversation regarding team selection was Donny van de Beek.

The Dutch midfielder, 25, remains a mystery to many given his Manchester United appearances are so infrequent.

He signed for £35m from Ajax in 2020, though despite the lofty price tag, rarely gets a game.

The arrival of fellow countryman Ten Hag was expected to give him a timely boost. However, according to GiveMeSport, the opposite has transpired.

Ten Hag to perform Man Utd U-turn?

Citing journalist Pete O’Rourke, it’s claimed Van de Beek is surplus to requirements and could move on in January.

“He finds himself sort of surplus to requirements at Manchester United right now and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with van de Beek in January,” said O’Rourke.

“Will he look to move on in search of regular first-team football or will he get more opportunities in the Manchester United team?

“But, right now, it does seem like it’s going to be a tough, long season ahead for van de Beek if the opportunities aren’t going to be given to him by ten Hag.”

The report adds Ten Hag actually blocked a Van de Beek exit back to Ajax over the summer.

Ten Hag seemingly believed he could reignite the midfielder’s fire after being left ‘shocked’ by his lack of confidence.

However, it appears he’s been unable to get the 25-year-old back on track with just three short cameos to his name in the Premier League this year.

Sport Witness claimed Inter Milan could be his next destination, likely via the loan route in January.

GiveMeSport also cite Inter as a potential suitor. Given the additions of Christian Eriksen and Casemiro, Van de Beek’s outlook at Old Trafford isn’t likely to improve any time soon.

Van de Beek needs fresh start

Ten Hag has settled on a 4-2-3-1 formation and the only places Van de Beek can feature in that system contain established stars.

Eriksen is the chief string puller in the double pivot. Bruno Fernandes is a mainstay at No 10.

What’s more, United pushed heavily to sign Frenkie de Jong over the summer despite already landing Eriksen.

Another creative midfielder is clearly in their thinking and signing one would push Van de Beek further down the order.

At 25, his career is far from over. However, it does seem it will continue to stall if he remains at Old Trafford.