The agent of Donny van de Beek has reiterated that his client “just wants to play” after Manchester United blocked his departure on deadline day.
Van de Beek joined United from Ajax for an initial £35m last summer. He scored on his competitive debut for the club, but managed just four starts in his first Premier League season. Those who doubted how he would fit into United’s team, despite his obvious talent, were ultimately proven right.
An attack-minded midfielder, van de Beek could not dislodge the likes of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes from the starting lineup. Thus, speculation about his next move has lingered for practically the entire duration of his time as a Man Utd player.
But after the summer transfer deadline passed, van de Beek remained in red. There seemed to be some late opportunities in the transfer window for him, but none went through.
For example, he was offered to Roma, but Jose Mourinho’s side were looking for a defensive midfielder rather than an attacking one. Had he made that move, he may have encountered similar problems to the ones he has endured at Old Trafford.
A more suitable destination may have been Everton, who made a move for the midfielder on deadline day, according to Algemeen Dagblad.
The Toffees have pushed James Rodriguez to the fringes since the appointment of Rafael Benitez. Despite van de Beek playing more centrally, he could have offered more reliable service in a similar department.
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According to the source, van de Beek was open to the move, which would have been a loan deal. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stepped in to block it.
Whether the manager can find a bigger role for van de Beek in Manchester remains to be seen. But one man who isn’t particularly enthusiastic about the situation is the player’s agent.
Guido Albers, who represents van de Beek, hinted at their disappointment of not being able to secure an exit.
Asked how van de Beek is feeling, Albers told Voetbal International: “I prefer not to bring this up.
“Everyone who knows Donny… he just wants to play football, he loves football. So from my reaction… I think you can tell.”
More optimistically, though, Albers added to the same source: “There was a lot of interest from Italy, Germany, England, so that looked good. But you need the cooperation of the club, and it looked like they would, but ultimately they didn’t.
“It was disappointing but also reassuring for him so that he will his chance, and will get his minutes, but this will become clear in due course. He’s been promised that before but we came to a clear agreement about this with the club so we all have faith that it will happen now.”
Solskjaer sends assurances to van de Beek
The 24-year-old may now be worried about what the current season will hold. One theory was that United signed him last year with a view to replacing Pogba in the long-term, but the Frenchman is still at the club after the deadline too.
Thus, there is little space for the Dutchman. In addition, the return of Jesse Lingard after a loan spell at West Ham has added further competition for places.
But speaking before the deadline, Solskjaer recently suggested van de Beek has a role to play.
“Of course we started against Leeds with a team we picked and a 5-1 win was, of course, justification for the team selection,” said the United boss.
“We move to the next one, Scott (McTominay) couldn’t play and Nemanja (Matic) was our best player in pre-season. That’s why I chose Nemanja, he’s been terrific.
“Donny has worked hard, he’s done really well, he will get his chances when the season gets going.
“We had Carabao Cup games, a game every four days, we’ve had a week every game. I can’t say any other way we made the decision when you start as well as you do you don’t wanna rotate too much. That was the decision, Nemanja started ahead of Donny.”