Mark Hughes says Donny van de Beek looks like he’s “wandering around lost” on the field after he was afforded a rare start against Leicester on Sunday.
Manchester United’s £40m summer signing has started just two Premier League games with the majority of his starts coming in the cup competitions.
The Dutchman was though given a run-out from the off at Leicester in the Sunday’s 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat.
Van de Beek was one of five changes made to the team by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. And afterwards the United boss pointed towards those changes as the reason to the defeat.
“We’ve got too many players that have played too many games and too many that haven’t really had much football, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Paul Pogba and others are trying to get in who haven’t had enough football. We didn’t have enough against a tough team,” said the Norwegian at the KingPower Stadium.
Unfortunately Van Beek did his cause little help with a near anonymous display against the Foxes. He did produce a clever dummy to allow Mason Greenwood to equalise, but he never built on that contribution. And was hooked on 64 minutes having done his chances of a another start more harm than good.
And former United striker Hughes thinks Van de Beek looks lost.
Hughes told Stadium Astro: “Clearly it’s difficult, he hasn’t had enough game time and you can see that in his play.
“He’s wandering and not really getting on the ball, doesn’t know how to affect the game, can’t demand the ball of his team-mates because they’re not quite sure whether or not they have enough confidence in him.
“He looks like a guy who’s wandering around lost on the field. Okay, some of that responsibility he has to take on himself, he has be more demonstrative, he has to be a key player.
“He’s a big-money signing he’s come from a big club in Ajax so he’s used to being a top player of influence. But clearly, since he’s come to United he hasn’t shown anything like what the level he needs to be at to remain a Man United player.
“He can only have so many opportunities, at some point he’s going to have to take them or United will move him on. I think they’re edging towards that decision if he’s not careful.”
Shearer critical of Martial
Meanwhile, Alan Shearer had no issue with the side United side that Solskjaer picked, but more the efforts of AnthonyMartial, who he said put in a “frustrating performance”.
“He was very isolated, but then sometimes you need help off your teammates. But you can also help yourself by putting yourself in better positions,” Shearer told BBC Sport.
“It was a really frustrating performance for him. When his teammates are looking for options from him, for him to either come short to be the link-up play, a lot of the time I’m thinking, ‘Come on, help’.
“Paul Pogba is looking for some help, he needs a run off the forward, there’s no one there. In his defence, he never really had any midfielder who was prepared to run past him or prepared to give him that little bit of support he so badly needed.
“He kept on pulling onto the full back for the long diagonal. That’s fine – that can be good – but not every time. It didn’t really work for him tonight and I was really frustrated for him on the sidelines.”