Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek has been heavily criticised for his part in West Ham’s winner in the Carabo Cup tie on Wednesday evening.
The Red Devils crashed out of the competition at the third-round stage as Manuel Lanzini fired David Moyes’ men through at Old Trafford. The defeat gives United one less chance to break their trophy drought, having not claimed any silverware since 2017.
Holland midfielder Van de Beek was handed a rare start against the Hammers, just three days after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side won at the London Stadium in the Premier League.
Solskjaer made 11 changes from that game and it showed as United struggled to create many clear-cut openings.
The only goal of the game came after nine minutes with Lanzini slotting home after good play from Ryan Fredericks.
The Argentine was unmarked in the six-yard area to score with former United women’s boss Casey Stoney highlighting Van de Beek’s positional error at half-time.
“He’s got drawn to the ball, he’s had his eyes on the ball and he’s not checked his shoulder,” Stoney told Sky Sports.
“There is only one ball being played from the byline and that is the cutback. That is the danger.
“You have got to stay on your player and make sure you are in a position to defend it.”
Van de Beek, who has been tipped to quit Old Trafford in 2022, will almost certainly return to bench duty when United face Aston Villa on Saturday.
Man Utd starlet tipped to emulate Scholes
Meanwhile, Paris FC coach Reda Bekhti believes his former star Hannibal Mejbri, now at Man Utd, could be as influential a player as Paul Scholes at Old Trafford.
Mejbri, who made his Premier League debut for United at the back end of last season, has impressed consistently for the Under-23’s, despite only being 18 years of age.
Clearly a talented individual, Mejbri attracted the attention of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, before United snapped him up in 2019.
His former Paris FC coach Bekhti has massive belief in him, and has even likened him to former United great Paul Scholes.
“The Premier League requires a lot of athleticism and a strong physical capacity. He can still grow more muscle. If he passes this milestone and does not pick up any injuries, he will win over [Solskjaer] I am sure,” he told First Time Finish.
“He can become a future Paul Scholes at Manchester United. He has all the qualities in midfield to become a leader.”
While the Red Devils legend is a huge name to live up to, having won 11 Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford, it is evident that Mejbri has bags of talent.
The attacking midfielder has just signed a new long-term contract with United, and is clearly a priority in terms of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future plans.